Fauci vs. Rand Paul on Vaccines: No ‘Bromance’ Here


To the Editor:

Re “G.O.P. Sees Virus Surge on Its Turf but Lets Vaccine Skepticism Spread” (news article, July 21):

Since the Biden administration took office, the esteemed infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci has been free to speak the truth, no longer having to humor and placate a dangerous president. It was gratifying to see Dr. Fauci use Tuesday’s congressional hearing to publicly rebuke his consistent tormentor, Senator Rand Paul.

Senator Paul is an ophthalmologist, a medical professional, but he has consistently sought to poke holes in the efficacy of coronavirus vaccines, and in so doing has sought to drag Dr. Fauci into the mud by challenging his competence and veracity. It is clear that Dr. Fauci will not allow himself to be used as a punching bag.

Kentucky has one senator, Mitch McConnell, who is acting honorably for a change, having adopted what is the true pro-life position in consistently urging his fellow Kentuckians and Americans to be vaccinated. I thank him for being willing to step over the wreckage of the hijacked Republican Party to do the right thing.

Senator Paul should heed the sage words of Representative Liz Cheney: “History is watching.”

Oren Spiegler
Peters Township, Pa.

To the Editor:

In 1988, when Larry Kramer attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci with the truth about the deadly results of the slow pace of research on AIDS, Dr. Fauci listened, he realized that Mr. Kramer knew what he was talking about and they joined forces to find a treatment. They even became close friends.

In 2021, when Senator Rand Paul attacks Dr. Fauci with misinformation and distortions about the Covid vaccine, Dr. Fauci listens, realizes Mr. Paul does not know what he is talking about and he lets him know.

I don’t see a bromance in their future.

Dan Sackett
Tinley Park, Ill.

To the Editor:

Re “New Pleas to Vaccinate on Fox News” (Business, July 21):

The pleas made this week by the Fox News commentator Sean Hannity and some of the other Fox personalities that their viewers should, in Mr. Hannity’s phrase, “take Covid seriously” and get vaccinated overlook why so many of them need that admonition and guidance. It’s because Mr. Hannity and his Fox News fellow travelers have spent the past year and a half minimizing the disease.

Opinion Conversation
Questions surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine and its rollout.

Urging the public to get serious about Covid and do something about it after 18 months of minimization is like calling for wartime measures to be taken in the middle of 1943, a year and a half after Pearl Harbor — too little, too late.

Mr. Hannity and his allies have, like the former president, contributed greatly to the fatalities, disabilities and other infirmities — physical and economic — attributable to Covid. Based on their perfidious conduct, they should apologize and then resign — or be fired.

Marshall H. Tanick
Minneapolis

To the Editor:

Re “Climate Change Comes for the Wealthy Nations” (news analysis, front page, July 18):

A grim message emerges from your excellent account of the perils of global warming in the years ahead: We must be prepared for episodes that will almost certainly become more widespread, more frequent and conceivably even more destructive than the heat, floods and fires experienced most recently in the Pacific Northwest, parts of British Columbia and Germany.

But perhaps the most sobering thought to contemplate is that no matter how aggressive the emission reductions that may be agreed to at the forthcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow — and even if a bipartisan congressional consensus were to surprise us with its own commitment of robust mitigation measures — the meaningful impact of two such landmark steps will, at best, kick in only several decades in the future.

It’s a situation that could hardly be more critical. We in the United States and other nations around the world need — urgently — to begin putting into place an effective regimen to meet the challenge of managing the upheavals that the fossil fuel combustion era has burdened the present generation to deal with. Adaptation cannot be a second cousin to mitigation. It is an imperative that our national leadership must forthrightly acknowledge.

Joel Darmstadter
Chevy Chase, Md.
The writer is a former senior fellow with the nonprofit Resources for the Future.

To the Editor:

Adults once assumed they were duty-bound to leave children a better world. With climate change going largely unabated, that apparently is not the case today. So children are turning to the courts to save them from inheriting an unlivable planet. They include 21 young people who sued the U.S. government six years ago (Juliana v. United States) for actively subsidizing fossil fuels.

They want the courts to decide whether they have a constitutional right to life without a catastrophic climate, but the Justice Department under three presidents, including Joe Biden, has blocked the case from going to trial.

Children deserve to know whether the supreme law of the land protects them from government policies that destabilize their future. If not, it’s time for another amendment.

But first, the Biden administration should let the children have their day in court. They deserve an answer. So do the generations that follow.

William S. Becker
Waunakee, Wis.
The writer is the founder of the Presidential Climate Action Project.

To the Editor:

Re “Fire, Drought and Heat Scorch the Land of Reds and Whites” (front page, July 19):

In Napa Valley, a stone’s throw from the vineyards of the dejected farmers interviewed in your article, other farmers are adapting for life in a warmer climate. The Tofanelli family continues to dry farm well-placed vineyards as they have for almost a century. Others, like family-owned Spottswoode, actively research climate change adaptation and rapidly adopt water-saving methods.

The distressed vineyards were planted in areas known to have high fire risk and/or inadequate water supplies. We’ve known about climate change for decades but failed to develop policies to deal with it, at all levels of government.

The current scale of wine production, driven in part by global business interests, is impossible to support as the megadrought continues. It is time to accept this new reality, to get our land use and water policies in order, and to focus on learning from people who are pouring their time, money and energy into finding new and more sustainable ways to live with our changing environment.

Amber Manfree
Napa, Calif.
The writer is a consultant for Water Audit California and other community organizations.

To the Editor:

Re “More Hospitals Are Requiring Workers to Get Covid Vaccines” (news article, July 22):

It makes about as much sense for a hospital to let its health care workers be unvaccinated as it would for a school to let its literature teachers be illiterate.

Felicia Nimue Ackerman
Providence, R.I.

To the Editor:

Re “How Crowded Are National Parks? See for Yourself.” (photo essay, National pages, July 16):

Sure, the national parks are crowded, but they are the perfect place for Americans to reconnect with other Americans this summer.

My husband and I spent four days hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The views were spectacular and the waterfalls beautiful, but the interactions with other Americans on the trail were like a miracle medicine.

Over the course of those four days, we wished and were wished “good morning,” “enjoy your day” or “you’re almost there and it’s totally worth it.” We saw so many happy people but only two political hats and one political flag among the hundreds that we passed.

No politics? It was amazing! America, leave your politics at home, go to a national park and be friendly. It’s one way Americans can learn to like one another again.

Rebecca Balikci
Wellington, Fla.

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