In the People's Interest

Handling COVID-19


Mistake to halt funding and disengage from WHO
It would be a grave mistake to halt funding and disengage from the World Health Organization (WHO), flawed though it is. First, we need a global coalition to defeat the pandemic. Second,  withdrawing from leadership roles in any global institution creates tremendous opportunities for rivals like China to push opposing views.
We’re not in this alone and shouldn’t act like it. Isolationists who doubt that overseas issues affect them personally need only consider that the shockwaves threatening our health, livelihood, and
economic wellbeing were sparked just months ago by the proximity of a few human beings and exotic wildlife on the other side of the globe.
The president says we’re at “war,” but casting aside the WHO is like breaking with NATO in the midst of conflict with Russia. As a veteran, I know first-hand that America’s military strength rests on close alliances. Just as we rely on partnerships to dominate the battlefield, we must work closely with others to vanquish this microbe. We delude ourselves and are ignorant of basic science if we think solo action will prevail.
This is not the last global health issue. The virus will likely resurge and a new pandemic could arrive tomorrow. We can’t invent some ad hoc global infrastructure, especially without buy-in from other nations. Doing so risks expending scarce resources in an inefficient, fragmentary, and even unproductive manner.
Finally, each time we reduce participation in or funding to an international body, we create a vacuum that Russia and China happily fill, providing them a propaganda coup of our own making that allows them to increase their influence over other nations’ policies, ideologies, and world views.
Is the WHO flawed? Yes. Should we insist on reform? Yes. But we can’t fix it from outside and are incapable of creating a functioning, parallel structure.
Karen Gibson

Daines, Gianforte hiding from Trump’s virus response
While living in isolation during a pandemic, time is a strange thing. It was only a few months ago that President Trump was impeached for lying and covering up the holdup of military aid to Ukraine. Do you remember that Rep. Greg Gianforte voted against impeachment? I received a letter from Gianforte strongly supporting the president.
Then in January the Senate voted to acquit President Trump without having any witnesses called. Sen. Steve Daines voted to acquit, and sent out a letter strongly supporting the president.
And suddenly, here we are, longing for springtime while knowing that it will be unlike any spring we have known. But, besides learning how to live in the coronavirus world, there are elections this year that will have major consequences. Sen. Steve Daines is running for re-election to the Senate and Rep. Greg Gianforte is running for governor, again. They are both running many ads on TV. I noticed that none of them are bragging about their close relationship with the president, he’s not even mentioned. So now that over 80,000 Americans have died from the virus, and the U.S. has the highest infection rate on the globe, maybe that got their attention. Trump didn’t begin the outbreak, but his horrible response, including lying and cover-up, has led us to this horrible time.  (Really, who knew that injecting disinfectant wasn’t a good treatment for anything?)
I think it’s time that the Republican senator and representative take responsibility for their votes that let a dangerous narcissist remain in office. Don’t give them the chance to do more harm. Vote them out of office.
Lynea Seher

Those in building trades should wear masks, too
Consistent mask-wearing in the building trades and their suppliers will improve our county health outcomes and increase confidence in having work done.
Numerous reports of few masks in hardware and building supply stores shake this confidence and can adversely impact economic recovery, as does seeing work crews around town unmasked in close proximity.
Recent Chronicle photos online and in the physical paper showed a drywall crew having lunch sitting against a wall, elbow to elbow, and receiving takeout at close quarters from an unmasked,
ungloved business owner. Observations of careless behavior deter people from going into building supply stores. Some national chains are requiring masks to enter. Some local businesses are following suit.
It would be good practice to inquire first about mask policy if you want to help expand it, to express concern to managers if it feels unsafe, and to take your business elsewhere. Many people may well put off a building project in their homes until community safety awareness is more visible.
Vendors/suppliers/contractors would all benefit from being vigilant about requiring safe practices, for work crew health, consumer confidence, and in helping community health and resources.
Clara Pincus

Bozeman Daily Chronicle Letters to the Editor 5/15/20

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