Letters to editor for Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Readers write to the Fort Myers News-Press and Naples Daily News about vaccine…

Letters to editor for Tuesday, May 4, 2021 1

Vaccine companies got lots of help

A recent letter (“Vaccines from capitalism, not socialism’) appeared to attack liberals for getting vaccinated while seemingly giving full credit to American private industry — and Operation Warp Speed announced May 15, 2020 — for the development of vaccines for COVID-19.

President Trump’s administration and American private industry should share some credit, but let’s look at the facts. Here is an excerpt from a (Wikipedia) history of vaccine development; it suggests capitalism and Trump alone were not what helped develop the vaccines.

“After a coronavirus was isolated in December 2019, its genetic sequence was published on 11 January 2020, triggering an urgent international response to prepare for an outbreak and hasten development of a preventive COVID-19 vaccine.

“Since early 2020, vaccine development has been expedited via unprecedented collaboration in the multinational pharmaceutical industry and between governments.

“By June 2020, tens of billions of dollars were invested by corporations, governments, international health organizations, and university research groups to develop dozens of vaccine candidates and prepare for global vaccination programs to immunize against COVID 19 infection.”

Let’s seek the truth together and give credit where credit is due.

Robert Geltner, North Fort Myers

Editor’s note: Wikipedia listed eight sources for the timeline quoted in this letter, including the World Health Organization, The New England Journal of Medicine, Harvard Business Review, CBC Radio, and a Stat article about the University of Oxford’s deal with AstraZeneca.   

Climate change linked to housing aid

I’ve been looking for a positive relationship between climate-related resilience and the affordable housing trust fund, but there is a negative relationship.

When the Republican-controlled Legislature uses the affordable housing trust fund to shore up the budget, in the name of dedicating the money to fighting climate change, this is a negative step, not a positive step. This makes those who are more vulnerable to housing needs much more affected by the trauma of climate change. 

In addition, the climate crisis in Southern states recently has shown that all of us will need more substantial housing to withstand the weather coming in the future because of climate change.

Lewis Robinson, San Carlos Park area

No, SWFL’s racial climate isn’t ‘ugly’

I was appalled at (Sunday’s) guest column under the headline “SW Florida’s racial climate is ugly.”

“The vile and violent anti-Black racism that prevailed in earlier eras remains with us,” FGCU (sociology) professor Ted Thornhill stated in his guest column. 

I would ask then why was Byron Donalds chosen by an an 85% white electorate for the U S. Congress? Answer: Because we liked his views, his leadership ability, his community activities, volunteerism and he is not afraid to speak out. It had nothing to do with his skin color. 

“Florida’s Republican officials, elected and appointed, are taking the lead in taking us back” (to Jim Crow racism),” Mr. Thornhill wrote.  

Nothing could be further from the truth. The elected president of our Republican club, which has about 120 members, for the last four years has been a black woman who recently retired. 

Columns (like Thornhill’s) tend to divide and anger, instead of unite as our current president has requested.

In all of the 29 years I have lived in Naples, I have not heard a single anti-black comment.   

Mary DePrisco, Naples

Trump’s incitement worse than Waters’

To the letter writer incensed by “suffocating” hypocrisy by Democrats who didn’t vote to censure Rep. Maxine Waters for inciting violence, after impeaching former President Trump:

Rep. Waters might well have tempered her language, but there is a vast difference between a lone member of Congress speaking to a small crowd outside Washington, D.C., and the president standing on a stage a short distance from Congress and urging his followers to go make trouble at the seat of our government and disrupt its proceedings, and even to overturn the results of an election.

Had former (Minneapolis police) officer Chauvin been acquitted at his trial, there would have been violence, but it would have been because anyone who watched all 9-plus minutes of the video of Chauvin extinguishing the life of George Floyd would have risen in protest and not because Maxine Waters told them to.


There is hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle. For instance, Senate Republicans refused to consider the nomination of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court for 11 months because it was “too close to the next election” but then rammed Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett through less than two weeks before Election Day.

Sarah Ridgway, North Naples

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