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Letter: How harmless is a lie?

Letter: How harmless is a lie?

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Hardly a day has passed since Trump took office that he hasn’t said or done something that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up but in his 4th of July remarks he said something that had it standing taller than usual.

To quote, “Now we have tested, almost 40 million. By so doing, we show cases -- 99% of which are totally harmless -- results that no other country can show because no other country has testing that we have." Some might say, so what?

First, it is not accurate. As of the day I wrote this letter, in the U.S. we have had 2.8 million cases and 130,000 deaths. My math says the number is 96%. What is a few %? About 8,000 lives.

Ask those who survived but spent days in the hospital if the virus is totally harmless. Ask the doctors nurses, first responders, and retail workers serving the public, all those now without jobs, small businesses struggling for survival, parents and kids wondering about school, older Americans afraid of exposure if COVID-19 is totally harmless.

Most of us, unlike the president, do not have the resources or power to force everyone around us to get tested before being in our presence. Yes, we are learning more effective treatments and vaccines are on the horizon, but this virus will not be harmless until it is a bad memory.

Bragging about the number of tests is an admission of failure to control the virus as well as many other countries have done. It is like bragging about the number of recalls on airbags in cars or the heads of Romaine lettuce pulled off grocery store shelves.

Maybe it is just me, but I find this to be one more example of a clueless, cold, insensitive, all-about-me, never-shoot-straight president. Nick Cordero, an actor who was 41 with no underlying health conditions lost the fight with coronavirus, leaving behind his wife and child. Jimmie Johnson appears to be asymptomatic but worry over passing it on to his kids hardly renders it harmless. I wonder if Don Jr.’s girlfriend would say it is harmless?

If Trump loses in November because of his failure of leadership during this pandemic, will he call it harmless?

Ruth Long

Hickory NC

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