Testing is absolutely needed, but it should be applied by our government leaders in an intelligent way. If a restaurant or other business is about to open, then all workers should be tested; in fact, they probably should be tested weekly. I am a professor and associate dean at the University of Maryland. Ideally, all students who come to campus in the fall should be tested and regularly retested. Another good use of tests for a state or county would be to conduct randomized tests on its citizens. This would give decision-makers a very accurate take on their progress in combating the novel coronavirus.
Opening up drive-through testing to all comers may generate good publicity, but it does not seem like the best use of testing resources.
Michael Ball, Silver Spring
Sadly, the numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths in nursing homes are staggering. Nursing home residents are isolated from lifelong spouses, family and friends. They suffer and die alone.
Medicaid pays for the care of more than 60 percent of nursing home residents. A federal “waiver” law allows Medicaid patients to “age in place” and receive care at home instead of an institution. A 1999 Supreme Court ruling held that states must provide health-related services in a community setting when appropriate, rather than in an institution. To not do so is discriminatory.
Most states have expanded home- and community-based long-term-care services and supports to let more people age in place. Unfortunately, Maryland has not. It limits home-based services to roughly 4,000 people each year, citing budget concerns despite the demand. Marylanders seeking home-based services without first staying in a nursing home are placed on a 21,000-person waiting list and can expect to wait eight years, among the longest waits in the country.
Maryland must do better. It needs to take immediate action to fix the policies that cause so much suffering by expanding its waiver program and eliminating the waiting list.
Elena Sallitto, Churchton
The writer is president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, MD/DC Chapter.
Morris Klein, Annapolis
The writer is chair of the Elder Law and Disability Rights Section of the Maryland State Bar Association.
Regarding the May 18 front-page article “Trump seems poised to let others lead on reopening”:
President Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote: “Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.”
President Trump obviously has a different take on leadership and is willing to take credit for anything remotely going well, while blaming others (the media, political opponents, perceived enemies, subordinates, mythical “deep state” denizens) for everything that goes poorly. He famously said, “I don’t take responsibility at all” when asked about the testing difficulties. No buck stops at his “Irresolute” desk, ever.
Ronald Callaghan, Rockville
Regarding the May 16 news article “Taiwan has nearly beat covid-19, but it’s still fighting for a seat in the WHO”:
Disease knows no politics or national borders. Any country that has something to contribute to the medical discussion should be able to do so without barriers to participation. As the whole world fights the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever to put global health above politics.
Taiwan was described as a reliable partner able to provide important resources to global health care, yet the World Health Organization and China have restricted the island nation’s access to the health community. It’s disgusting that the WHO is refusing to allow Taiwan any status amid a pandemic. Like the United States needs new leadership, so does the WHO.
Such blatant prioritization of Beijing’s political interests over the health and safety of Taiwan and the rest of the world has grave consequences.
Kent Wang, Washington
The writer is advisory commissioner for the Overseas Community Affairs Council, Republic of China (Taiwan) in the United States.
In his May 19 op-ed, “States need to rein in armed protesters,” Charles Lane reminded us that the gun-carrying protesters demanding that the economy open up are using the same tactics as the armed members of the Black Panthers who occupied the state capitol in California in 1967. He pointed out that shots fired in a street full of armed pedestrians render the police unable to identify the shooter. Ronald Reagan said it best when he signed California’s open-carry ban into law that year: “He saw ‘no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.’ ”
As early as 1886, the Supreme Court upheld an Illinois law prohibiting a group parading with arms in Chicago, enabling the state to suppress armed mobs. What has happened to these common-sense rulings?
Can we not advocate, even publicly demonstrate for, our position without brandishing a gun?
Judy Fisher, Fairfax
An important point to round out Charles Lane’s May 19 analysis of the need for states to rein in armed protesters within the framework of the Second Amendment is a reference to the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right of people to assemble. That amendment says “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging . . . the right of the people peaceably [emphasis added] to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Brandishing high-capacity weapons and screaming into the faces of law enforcement officers violate a critical part of the First Amendment’s right for people to assemble peaceably.
There were no armed protesters insisting that the governor’s stay-at-home orders be maintained, so the protesters cannot justify bringing weapons to a demonstration against a governor’s public health measures as an act of self-defense.
Len Zuza, Solomons