People with intellectual and developmental disabilities in NC need vaccine sooner, not later

·3 min read

Vaccine groups

The writer is emeritus professor, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

North Carolina’s recent decision to move people with intellectual/developmental disabilities to a lower-priority group for COVID vaccination is disappointing.

Both the CDC and World Health Organization have designated this historically under-served group — no matter their age — as being at high risk of being infected.

Many individuals have an array of comorbidities, and as a result are more likely to die from COVID complications. Many are unable to fully understand and comply with CDC guidelines presenting a greater risk to themselves and their communities.

I applaud the efforts of Gov. Roy Cooper and DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen for their clear messaging. I know they face enormous pressure from a variety of deserving high-risk groups. However, I urge them to return intellectually and developmentally disabled persons to a Group 2 priority, rescinding the decision to move them to Group 4.

Arnold D. Kaluzny, Chapel Hill

The old GOP

Regarding David Brooks “Letter to a young Republican,” (Feb. 21 Opinion):

As a lifelong moderate Republican and someone who grew up watching Tip O’Neill, Howard Baker, Nancy Kassebaum, and others who exemplified the collegiality missing from Congress today, I am sick to my stomach with the absolute polarity between “red” and “blue” that is omnipresent on any topic before discussion even begins.

The Republican Party should not be surprised one bit by the number of defections from its ranks as a result of Trumpism and the lack of substantive policy positions that have any hope of helping the electorate, be they Republican or Democrat.

Perhaps our elected officials should all spend 1-2 weekends a month in Washington, investing time and energy in getting to know those across the aisle as human beings, rather than returning home every weekend.

John D. Crehore, Charlotte


We keep hearing Congress arguing about the amount of money to be spent on the next stimulus package. But $1 trillion from previous stimulus packages has yet to be spent. Why can’t we spend all the money from the previous stimulus first and then see what might be needed after that. It takes a lot of time to spend that much money and it is our tax dollars so we should know exactly where it is going.

Dick Meyer, Charlotte

‘A good dad’

Regarding Sen. Ted Cruz “wanting to be a good dad...” The senator lost an opportunity for a very teachable moment and in the process exemplified how not to be a good dad. He could have had a conversation with his daughters regarding what it means to be a senator (a public servant) and that escaping to a plush resort in warm, sunny Mexico is not leadership.

He could have encouraged his daughters to think of ways the family could assist the community, rather than being “Disney Dad.”

Cathy Hadden, Mooresville

Rush Limbaugh

Marc Thiessen’s praise of Rush Limbaugh is an interesting view of what he enthusiastically finds positive. (Feb. 21 Opinion)

I would argue that Limbaugh used his weapon of humor as a protracted ranting of hate, bigotry, lies and hoaxes.

He aggressively promoted hate and conflict under the false screen of loving his audience and listening to them, while he arrogantly self-promoted and laughed his way to his mega mansion in Florida. No amount of his gifting to charities could ever overcome the negative rantings his vocal platform advocated. May he rest in silence.

Janet Schupbach, Charlotte

‘Miss Pearl’

Regarding “Belk’s pending bankruptcy stirs memories of first jobs, family ties,” (Feb. 22):

How exciting it was to see “Miss Pearl” McCloud from the Rock Hill Belk’s on Monday’s front page. Miss Pearl was a favorite of colorblind men like me.

I could go in and tell her what color pants, shirts, or ties I needed and walk out looking like I knew what I was doing.

I always received compliments on the selections she made. She was a godsend for those of us who are “color deficient.”

David Campbell, Clover