To the Editor:
In a letter that appeared on May 15, Mr. Irving Glater complained that I had made accusations but failed to back them up with facts. Let’s look at the facts.
He wrote that “absolutely nobody in the U. S. knew anything about COVID-19.” The fact is that on Jan. 8, the Centers for Disease Control issued a warning about the danger and on Jan. 20, the first case appeared in the U.S. On Feb, 26, Trump said that within a couple of days the number of cases in the U. S. “is going to be close to zero.” On March 6, he stated that “We’re doing a tremendous job of keeping it down.” Just one week later declared a state of emergency.
While some governments ignored the danger, others responded vigorously. The result has been that while the number of cases per million in the U.S. skyrocketed to 259, South Korea has had only 5, New Zealand 4, Australia 4, and Kenya only 1. Mr. Glater excuses Trump’s bungling by saying that he “had to primarily rely on the World Health Organization (WHO) and China’s Xi Jinping for guidance, both of which misled him.” Trump had access to the same information as the countries that took effective action. The notion that a tiny country like Kenya was better informed than the U.S. could hardly be more ridiculous. Trump’s failure to respond to the many warnings led to the deaths of over 85,000 Americans by May 15.
About Trump’s withdrawing from the international group that was controlling Iran’s nuclear development activity, Mr. Glater cites the “fact” that “the Iran Nuclear Deal is a sieve.” Mr. Glater, in Exeter, N.H., thinks that he knows better than the nuclear experts on location in Iran, who found that no weapons grade uranium was being made. He wrote that “President Trump did the right thing.” The result of Trump’s action is that Iran is now working at full speed to develop a nuclear weapon. By demonstrating that the U. S. will do nothing to stop countries from developing such weapons, Trump has opened the door to nuclear proliferation that threatens all of humanity.
With respect to global warming, he excuses Trump for withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord and for the many steps Trump has taken to increase the production and use of fossil fuels by saying that China is even worse. Even if it were true that another country had done worse, that would hardly justify accelerating our contributing to a global catastrophe. The fact is that China emits less than half as much CO2 per person as the United States. Our only hope of averting a climate disaster and creating a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren is through international cooperation.
And as for the negative impact of Trump’s tariffs on trade, a study by the Tax Foundation found that they would reduce global GDP, wages, and jobs.
Trump’s attitudes toward these and other problems, demonstrates that he is living in a dream world, totally divorced from reality, in which he is the white knight in shining armor. Mr. Glater’s letter suggests that he lives there, too, with his hero.
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