Letters to the editor: Masks, Australia, nuclear weapons, dams

·4 min read

Mask wearing

While attending the state of the state address, Rep. Chad Christensen commented on his Facebook page, “Every Idaho Court Justice is wearing a mask at the State of the State Address. Everyone of them.” One could hear the disappointment and disgust in his statement. Christensen would be greatly surprised to learn that individuals wearing masks do so to protect their health and the health of others. They do not do so based upon political ideology. He would never know this as he never engages in any discourse with individuals who do not hold his extreme views. Christensen, Giddings, McGeachin have all used the pandemic and Idahoans’ health to gain political capital. I cannot think of a more dangerous political game. People wear masks to protect the health and safety of themselves and others. Pointing fingers at people who are considerate of others for political gain is a failure of character.

Maggie Shaw, Driggs

Australia

Some information to show why America is doing terrible with the COVID crisis.

Australia has had the strictest COVID guidelines and restrictions. Yes, it might rub you the wrong way, but Americans are dying. It does not have to be this way.

Australia’s population is 25.7 million. More than 90% of people 16 and older are vaccinated. They have had 2 million COVID cases. They have had 2,890 deaths. Yes, that is correct. It is because vaccinated people can survive COVID.

Americans have been told many times, get the COVID shot, it can save your life, save others. Yet, how stupid have Americans been.

Compare Australia to America.

The population of Australia is similar to Texas: 29 million people. Only 57% are vaccinated in Texas. They have had 5.6 million COVID cases and 77,467 deaths.

New York’s population is 19.8 million. Population of Wisconsin is 5.8 million. Together, about the same as Australia. New York has had 4.5 million COVID cases and 62,193 deaths. Wisconsin has 1.3 million COVID cases and 11,649 deaths, for a total of 5.8 million cases and 73,842 deaths.

Look at the numbers again. It should make you think how wrong so many Americans have been in dealing with COVID. Americans did not need to die.

Cheryl Lomax, Meridian

Nuclear weapons

Jan. 22 is a historic day, marking the 2021 adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The United States has not signed the treaty, which represents the will of 122 nations worldwide and has compelling moral force for all members of the global community.

Idahoans have good reason to celebrate and bring awareness to this Treaty. Idaho currently stores long-term radioactive waste from the Cold War at the Idaho National Laboratory near Arco which lies directly above the Snake River Aquifer, the source of drinking water for 300,000 Idahoans.

Radioactive fallout from bomb tests at the Nevada Test Site 70 years ago drifted into Idaho, creating lasting health and environmental damage in downwind communities such as Blaine County, one with high concentrations of radioactive Iodine-131.

Last year, despite their country’s not yet being a signatory, Americans celebrated in over 100 events across the country with banners, bell-ringing, communication with elected officials, and Treaty readings. This year, numerous events are planned.

Help send the message “Join the Treaty” to the government and join fellow Idahoans on Saturday, Jan. 22. A COVID-safe Treasure Valley event will be at Boise Unitarian, 12:30–1 p.m. Information: snakeriveralliance.org.

Sally Casler, Boise

Breach dams

I’m a junior at Boise High and part of the Youth Salmon Protectors. I see the way prior generations have decimated the beauty that God created all around us and instead of worsening this destruction, I’d like to fix it. Congressman Simpson’s proposal takes care of all parties. It invests in new clean energy to make electricity cheaper in the Pacific Northwest. It subsidizes rail rather than barge shipping, so Idaho farmers can have easy and affordable access to the global market. It honors the treaties the government made to Idaho’s indigenous communities. And, it saves our wild salmon and steelhead, restoring the Snake River to how it was meant to be. I’m calling on Senator Crapo to support the Columbia Basin Initiative and I encourage readers to do the same. We must breach the dams and save our fish.

Caroline DiVietro, Boise