I may have missed it, but it doesn’t appear that United States Postal Service (USPS) employees are getting media coverage about their risk of infection by the COVID-19 virus. USPS workers are exposed to the same potential virus infections as package delivery employees (“Fearful package delivery employees are going to work sick,” Star-Advertiser, March 23).
USPS mail carriers are exposed to an even greater extent.
As stated in the article, the COVID-19 virus does not survive long on cardboard and paper surfaces, but experts say it survives a long time on metal surfaces. Postal carriers touch a lot of metal while delivering mail to residential customer and cluster (community) mailboxes.
To mitigate the possibility of a USPS employee contracting the COVID-19 virus from metal mailboxes or passing the virus on to customers, USPS mail carriers should be issued gloves to wear while delivering mail.
Also, since all mailboxes are considered to be federal property, USPS should be required to disinfect or wipe down mailboxes periodically. If unable to disinfect mailboxes, USPS should provide guidance to customers, to allow them to disinfect mailboxes without damaging the mail.
Challenging times, but American spirit endures
The coronavirus’ impact has been Earth-shattering. A sudden, traumatic, life-threatening blow. The harm incalculable to businesses and our economy, to workers, to families, and to our way of life. Recovery will be months or years away. Our American spirit, bruised, endures. We will come back.
We will survive.
Robert K. Wight
Pandemic experts exist in office consolidation
The letter from Jon Shimamoto, “Disbanding pandemic response group wrong” (Star-Advertiser, March 21), is misleading. Letters like this are an attempt to misrepresent the actual facts to portray President Donald Trump as incompetent, careless and/or unconcerned with public health.
The top and best professionals from the White House’s pandemic response office are still there; they just now work within the counterproliferation and biodefense directorate. What is true is that a bloated bureaucracy was downsized and streamlined into one overlapping office to increase efficiency.
The biodefense staff has not been affected by this consolidation of resources. The left seems to believe that bigger government, larger bureaucracies and throwing lots of American taxpayer money at a problem is always better, even if the results don’t always support that premise.
Pandemic focus lost in biodefense unit revamp
Stacy Washington attempts to cleverly confuse the reader by claiming that President Donald Trump really didn’t abolish the pandemic response office (“Has Trump managed COVID-19 crisis well?” Star-Advertiser, March 23). She said, “It turns out that the office still exists, is fully staffed and was not subject to any action by Trump officials.”
The actual office she refers to in that quote is the counterproliferation and biodefense office, which has a completely different administrative function than the pandemic response office. Nobody claims the counterproliferation office was abolished.
The pandemic response office was formed to lead the effort to control a natural pandemic, in light of the then-recent Ebola and SARS experiences. The counterproliferation and biodefense directorate protects the United States from attempts by rogue nations to seed dangerous microorganisms into our population. The pandemic-related functions were incorporated into the counterproliferation office.
However, we have seen how well this reorganization worked to control a natural pandemic. Let’s hope the National Security Council has better luck if there is an attempt at an intentional microorganism attack.
Hoarding toilet paper reveals selfishness
I can hardly think of anything more selfish than hoarding toilet paper.
Every household needs it, every household buys it.
The act of hoarding creates inconveniences for those who merely run out and need more. For some, it just makes it difficult to purchase more.
These selfish people who hoard are definitely looking out only for themselves. And here in Hawaii, they most certainly are lacking in the aloha spirit.
Charles P. Nakagawa
Approve shovel-ready projects for Big Island
The coronavirus is causing economic damage to Hawaii and the rest of the world. Millions of people could be laid off.
This is why the Legislature needs to approve funding for Gov. David Ige’s proposed capital improvement projects (CIP) contained in House Bill 2725. These nearly shovel-ready projects include the proposed Saddle Road Extension and Waiaka Bridge replacement on the Big Island.
These infrastructure projects will help stimulate Hawaii County’s economy through increased construction activity.
The other critical appropriation is $10 million to construct a fiber-optic cable landing station on Oahu.
There is an entity that is interested in landing a cable at this proposed station.
If Hawaii wants to really diversify its economy, it needs reliable fiber-optic cable connectivity. It would be a huge blow to our economy if any of this funding is deleted from HB 2725.
Governors, mayors come through with leadership
In these scary times, true leadership is admirable. While lacking at the federal level, it is impressive to see the actions of our governors and mayors, both here in Hawaii as well as across the U.S.
They try to communicate accurately and often, and they inspire hope. It is a stark contrast to our president and his cronies.
Self-aggrandizement and partisan politics, so often employed by President Donald Trump, have no place in times like these.