Here in Arlington, the nonprofit group Embracing Arlington Arts, of which I am treasurer, has begun a weekly conference call for the leaders of the county’s arts organizations to share experiences, collaborate on emergency planning and provide support to one another in these uncertain times. While Embracing Arlington Arts does not receive public funds, it is supporting groups that do, helping them stretch those funds as much as possible. We have found that simply having a venue to share concerns has been beneficial to local arts leaders.
Just like the “name brand” arts in New York City, treasured organizations in our midst are striving to continue to be vibrant and influential parts of our community.
Robert Goler, Alexandria
Regarding the April 3 news article “Carrier captain who highlighted outbreak on ship is relieved of command”:
Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, was removed for “poor judgment” because he sent a letter warning of the need to get his sailors removed from his ship in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. I have served in our armed forces, as did my father and his father before him.
Capt. Crozier made a command decision in the best interests of his sailors. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly recognized that Capt. Crozier “did what he thought was in the best interest of the safety and the well-being of his crew.” That recognition is the beginning, middle and end of the story. To remove Capt. Crozier from command discourages me and others from service. It is unfair given the sacrifice of our military and will pierce the desire of our millennials to serve and follow in the footsteps of those fallen before us. It is this new generation upon whom we must rely for the future defense of our country, and this action undermined their faith in our military.
Greg Kuzniewski Jr., Leesburg
I decry the removal from command of Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, who sounded the alarm about covid-19 on the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Capt. Crozier, a graduate of the Naval Academy, made the well-being of the nearly 5,000 sailors under his command his top priority.
Before becoming president, Col. Teddy Roosevelt said, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.” Among the first things sailors are taught is “Ship, Shipmate, Self,” which means to put the good of the ship first, then the person next to you and then yourself, which is exactly what Capt. Crozier did.
Helen Saxenian, Chevy Chase
President Trump must invoke the sections of the Defense Production Act (DPA) that pertain to prohibiting hoarding or price-gouging of materials necessary in the defense against an enemy or, in the case of the novel coronavirus, antagonist.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), in their March 31, op-ed, “What governors need from Washington,” wrote, “The lack of any centralized coordination is creating a counterproductive competition between states and the federal government to secure limited supplies, driving up prices and exacerbating existing shortages.” They left out that this bidding also slows down the process of procurement of these supplies and diverts the human resources required to do this bidding from other more urgent tasks. They argued that “the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) needs to better coordinate the distribution of supplies based on need.”
Mr. Trump’s answer to these concerns at the Thursday coronavirus task force news briefing was to blame the states for not being better prepared in the first place. That response was horrific. There have been no reasonable answers to why the president will not invoke the DPA to solve this grave problem, and his mismanagement of resources is exacerbating the stress many of us are feeling.
Charles Schneider, Clifton
I rarely agree with George F. Will, but I at least generally respect him. But he lost me with his overreaching April 2 op-ed, “The rise of virus opportunism.” Using a case of rare but egregious misconduct on the part of the Drug Enforcement Administration, in which its agents seized the hard-won cash savings of an innocent low-income single mother, Mr. Will denounced the entire federal government.
Though this case is irrelevant to current efforts to deploy the resources only the federal government can mobilize in this dire emergency, Mr. Will seemed to think that it would persuade us to reject what he calls “virus opportunism.”
If he had formulated a cogent critique of specific polices, in, say, the Cares Act, I would have been willing to listen. But this piece was a bridge too far — and far beneath the kind of reasoned and sage wisdom we need in times like this.
Sonya Michel, Silver Spring
George F. Will’s April 2 op-ed, “The rise of virus populism,” was tone-deaf in its anti-government stance when the whole world is going to hell.
Mr. Will found yet another extreme example of unchecked federal power (which patriots can all disdain) and provided that as a basis for reining in our federal institutions. Meanwhile, a pandemic is ravaging the world in part because of government inaction, and — contra Mr. Will’s philosophy — is being put in check by government action. Mr. Will is a great enigma, and we don’t need enigmas right now.
Brett Surbey, Fairfax