Perspectives: Congress, We’re All Tired, So Forget Recess; Debate About College Football Is Insane
Editorial pages focus on these pandemic topics and others.
The Washington Post:
Congress Has Taken A Break From Dealing With Covid-19. The Rest Of Us Don’t Have That Luxury.
Congress, I get it. You’re tired. You wanted to go on recess. You’re talking about coming back in September to finish your negotiations when you have to pass a spending bill. Well, we’re all tired — nurses and doctors and other health-care workers. Public health officials. The nation’s slowly growing contact-tracing team, now 50,000 strong. School principals and superintendents who are making the hardest decisions of their lives. Kids who haven’t been to a birthday party in five months and face more school online. Epidemiologists and lab leaders who have been innovating their hearts out. Mayors and parents and small business owners and on and on and on. None of us gets to take a break from the stuff that’s wearing us out. I hope you’ve noticed. (Danielle Allen, 8/13)
Los Angeles Times:
6 Steps To Take So Americans Can Vote Safely During Coronavirus
With only three months to go before the November election and the coronavirus pandemic still a threat to public health, Congress and the states must do much more to help Americans exercise their right to vote without placing themselves in danger. Several states have responded to the pandemic by making it easier to vote by mail, but that option needs be made even more available. States also need adequate personnel and equipment to ensure that votes cast by mail are fully counted and that voters whose ballots are rejected have the opportunity to appeal, while still providing sanitized polling stations and in-person voting for those who need that option. Finally, a public education campaign is necessary to counter President Trump’s cynical suggestion that a delay in completing the vote tallies and declaring a winner is evidence of fraud. (8/14)
San Francisco Chronicle:
Crazy Debate About College Football Embodies Broken Coronavirus Response
Whether to proceed with college and professional sports in the pandemic should be a fairly straightforward question. The risks of our activities have to be judged against their necessity, and given that no single season of a spectator sport is strictly necessary, any game that poses a significant danger of infecting and killing more people should be canceled. (8/14)
Huge Dangers If Campus Safety Plans Don't Work Out
As America was consummating its love affair with the automobile a century ago, Robert Hutchins became president of the University of Chicago. There he learned: “The three major administrative problems on a campus are sex for the students, athletics for the alumni, and parking for the faculty.” Only the last may be attenuated by the coronavirus pandemic. If more classes are online, it is not at all clear that there will be the traffic jams of old around campuses. But while the burdens of allocating parking may diminish, campus leaders will find new layers of complexity overseeing sports and socializing. (8/14)
The New York Times:
Remote Learning Is Hard. Losing Family Members Is Worse.
Last month, I learned that my uncle died of Covid-19. Not long after, his mother passed away from the virus, too. Since my parents are essential workers, I’m starting my senior year of high school worrying whether they’re next. I live in one of San Diego’s most infected ZIP codes. And I’m a Latino in a county where Hispanics — 43 percent of Covid-19 victims yet only 34 percent of the population — bear the brunt of the pandemic. (Isaac Lozano, 8/13)
The New York Times:
We Will Pay For Our Summer Vacations With Winter Lockdowns
This spring, when Western Europe became an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, countries imposed strict lockdowns: In France, a person needed a permit to go shopping; Spain required children to stay indoors the entire day; in Scotland and Wales, people could go outside for a walk only once a day and had to stay within a five-mile radius. Thanks to this, European countries were able to not only flatten the Covid-19 curve but to also keep levels of infection very low. But as the weeks went by, the pressure to reopen society grew. People wanted their prepandemic lives back. They wanted dynamic economies to protect their jobs; they wanted their children educated in schools; they wanted nights out at the pub and visits to their friends. And they really wanted summer vacations. (Devi Sridhar, 8/14)
The Washington Post:
Kamala Harris And Marjorie Taylor Greene Embody The Divergent Roads Confronting America
It doesn’t get much starker than that. This is, as Biden has been saying, no mere election; it is a “battle for the soul of the nation.” We have spent so much time this painful summer, in the wake of George Floyd’s death, lamenting and exploring America’s imperfections. That is as it should be. It is necessary work, too long postponed. The legacy of that neglect is reflected in the ferocity of the protests. Unequal treatment, unequal schools, unequal wealth and now, as brought tragically home by the pandemic, unequal health. All of this is undeniable. It must be acknowledged, and it must be addressed. (Ruth Marcus, 8/13)
A Scandal: Sacramento County Gives COVID Money To Sheriff
I’ve been a working journalist for more than 30 years and I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a bigger clown show than the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors meeting this week.It was nothing less than governmental malpractice. The County of Sacramento received $181 million in federal dollars to combat the coronavirus pandemic. And where did $104 million of it go? For salaries and benefits in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. And when Nav Gill, the county CEO, was asked to justify it, he said he did it as a money “swap” that kept the county budget whole while also addressing COVID-19. (Marcos Breton, 8/12)
Dallas Morning News:
Colleyville Has Taken The Brunt Of COVID Response Criticism. What Can We Learn From It?
The simple truth is this: The virus poses a real but manageable threat; therefore a secondary threat to our economy, our health, and our ability to function as a society stems from a lack of public adherence to simple steps to reduce the spread. There shouldn’t be a hesitancy to wear masks and take other smart steps during a pandemic. Doing so allows us to return to a sense of normalcy, while discarding this advice increases the chances that more stringent steps will be taken to curb new flare-ups. Let’s do the work now to get back to normal. (8/14)
Eric Holcomb, Let Hoosiers Vote In A Safe, Open Election Amid Pandemic
Where’s the Hoosier hospitality and common sense? In March, Gov. Eric Holcomb made a profound statement as the coronavirus continued to descend on Indiana: "As citizens we all have a right to elect our leaders in a free and open and, of course, a safe environment." Moments later he announced with political leaders an agreement between the parties to allow “no-excuse” absentee voting to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. More than 500,000 Hoosiers of all political stripes utilized this opportunity to cast their vote by mail in the June primary election. Now, new daily cases are four to five times higher than when Holcomb made his pronouncement. But today, Holcomb’s tune has changed. He’s refusing to expand vote by mail to every Hoosier, even as the virus spreads and nearly 3,000 Hoosiers have lost their lives. (Adam Dickey, 8/14)