Not reassuring

President Trump held a news conference the other day to assure us that the coronavirus was not going to become a problem in our country. But Trump’s history of not telling the truth doesn’t give him much credibility. Top health officials flanking him at that meeting were markedly less upbeat, warning that the coronavirus was spreading rapidly across the globe and its spread more broadly inside the United States was inevitable.

Trump announced at the same meeting that he was naming Vice President Mike Pence to coordinate the government’s response to the virus outbreak. As soon as Pence stepped to the microphone, he said, “I know full well the importance of presidential leadership.” Apparently, the first qualification for the job is licking his boss’ boots.

Pence in charge … really! That’s not reassuring. He is known to be anti-science. For example, he says evolution is just a theory, he’s for conversion therapy, does not believe smoking causes cancer and feels climate change is a hoax.

Pence’s main assignment is to control the messaging coming from government health officials and scientists. All statements and public appearances by them are to be approved by Pence. This is clearly an effort to prevent those in the know from keeping us informed with the facts.

China also censored initial reports of the coronavirus, delaying for several weeks an appropriate response to the outbreak. And we know the consequences of that delay. The world is now on the verge of a pandemic.

Fred Luce


Far worse

Some people seem to be wary of socialism because it, like other forms of government, has its dangers. Certainly. But we have something far worse than that in place in our country right now: dictatorship.

The president controls the legislative branch, which is Congress. He controls the executive branch and the Cabinet and tells his minions what to do about the environment, immigrants and poor people. He just about controls the judicial branch and certainly wants to, including the attorney general and the Supreme Court.

He says he has the power and authority to pardon his pals when they get caught for criminal conduct. Worst of all, he has persuaded a lot of people to yell in favor of his racism and bigotry and the way he tongue-lashes his opponents.

Dictatorship is based on fear. However, I do believe we, the people, do not support this man’s tyranny and the continuing damage he is doing to our nation and the world we live in. He wants to control us, but he can’t because there is something deep inside us that refuses to be cowed!

The Rev. Bill Gramley



Ruben Navarette’s Feb. 17 column, “Speaking of Rush Limbaugh …” confers upon Rush Limbaugh a stature and legitimacy of which he is undeserving.

Giving voice to bigotry and extremism is neither journalism nor thoughtful discourse — no matter how widely held that bigotry may be. Cloaking Limbaugh in the guise of a conservative thinker is an insult to actual conservative thinkers such as William F Buckley and principled conservative politicians such as Sen. John McCain.

Limbaugh is an entertainer whose stock in trade is hate and denigration. He is, as always, a demagogue, trafficking in simplistic answers to complex issues. One need not be as bad as Hitler to be a danger. Limbaugh and President Trump give voice to those whose bigotry would otherwise remain cloaked (Mexicans are rapists; fine people on the side of the Klan).

Awarding this hate-monger the Medal of Freedom diminishes those estimable Americans who have truly earned such recognition.

Jerry Cohen


Not draining the swamp

President Trump promised to drain the swamp. Now he is pardoning one after the other people in power who have been convicted of corrupt acts that are against the law.

He’s draining the swamp? These actions are the height of corruption from the height of political power. How can Trump supporters, including all our state’s Republican representatives in Congress, continue to support him and encourage the corrupt abuse of power by this president? They are disregarding the good of our wonderful country as they act in loyalty to a corrupt president rather than supporting our constitutional democracy with checks and balances.

This is not a partisan issue. This is an issue of abuse of power, of corruption, of breaking down our constitutional separation of powers that limit the power of the presidency. We are not and don’t want to be an authoritarian dictatorship.

Evan Ballard


Please submit letters online, with full name, address and telephone number, to or mail letters to: The Readers’ Forum, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Letters are subject to editing and are limited to 250 words. For more guidelines and advice on writing letters, go to

Load comments