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Gymnasts' sex-abuse complaints, LIRR staff vaccines and more

Gymnasts, from left, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly

Gymnasts, from left, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols, testify Wednesday at a Senate hearing. Credit: AP/Saul Loeb

FBI moves needed in gymnasts’ case

I watched the gut-wrenching testimony of the sexual abuse of America’s premier gymnasts by team doctor Larry Nassar before the Senate Judiciary Committee ["Gymnasts describe team doctor’s abuse," News, Sept. 16]. I found it impossible to watch without crying for these young women.  

This abuse was reported to the FBI in 2015 by one of the gymnasts, but it failed to respond to the complaints. Christopher Wray, the bureau’s director, said he would "make damn sure everybody at the FBI remembers what happened here."

Is that it? All they have to do is remember? Where are the consequences? Only one agent was fired after multiple missteps in this investigation. Surely more agents were involved in this failure. What happens to them? Are they given the opportunity to retire and collect tax-paid pensions?

"Remembering" is not enough.

— Judith Hanson, Fort Salonga

Without vax, LIRR won’t get me to ride

So the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will not charge peak fares for the rest of 2021 to "incentivize people" to ride the train again ["LIRR peak fares won’t return in 2021," News, Sept. 16]. This came a day after an editorial detailed how MTA workers are delaying or refusing to get vaccinated ["Workers with vaccines wanted," Opinion, Sept. 15].

MTA management seems at a loss how to get workers vaccinated, with one excuse after another. I, and most people I know, will not be riding the rails anytime soon until the MTA and the Long Island Rail Road, in particular, require — and enforce — vaccinations for all employees. The health of the riding public is at stake.

— Mike Calma, Hicksville

Nothing confusing about booster shots

President Joe Biden says he hopes to make booster shots available to all as soon as possible ["Top doctors to Biden: Slow down on boosters," News, Sept. 19]. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommends shots for those 65 and older or who run a high risk of severe disease, but not for the general population.

Many news shows say there’s confusion. I’m not confused. We have competent agencies doing research that can change quickly as our knowledge of COVID-19 improves.

When that knowledge changes, so do recommendations. Is that so difficult to comprehend? Have we become a nation that can’t adapt to changing circumstances?

— Tom Casey, West Sayville

Milley acted out of place with Chinese

I read with incredulity that author Bob Woodward wrote that Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, twice phoned his Chinese counterpart to assure him that the United States had no plans to attack China ["Book: Gen. feared Trump might start war," News, Sept. 15]. Milley even pledged he would alert the Chinese if former President Donald Trump planned an attack. Milley justified his actions by asserting that Trump had experienced a "mental decline." These actions are outrageous. The Constitution makes it clear that the military is subject to civilian control, at the behest of the president.

If Milley was so concerned about the president’s mental health, he should have resigned and requested the 25th Amendment be invoked. President Joe Biden has supported the general. But who’s to say that Biden, whose own mental acuity has been questioned by some, might not face the same insubordination? All Americans, Republican or Democrat, should be appalled by the general’s overreach. Milley must resign.

— Carol Sefick, East Meadow

Pass $3.5T package to help our planet

The climate crisis has put our planet in a Code Red emergency ["UN chief urges ‘rapid’ emission cuts," Health & Science, Sept. 17]. President Joe Biden is meeting this challenge with his bold plans for a $3.5 trillion package that would boost investment in climate-saving infrastructure, equity and jobs.

All Democrats — for the good of all people — must be on board for what’s likely to be a 50-50 vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding ballot.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has come out strongly against new gas plants in Queens and the Hudson Valley, must hold firm to Biden’s agenda and insist the final budget include no sops to the fossil fuel industry, which is already heavily subsidized through existing tax benefits.

America needs transformative investments as we move into a renewable energy future. We need electric vehicles priced for all, with convenient charging stations widely located.

Environmental justice communities must be freed from their poisoned pasts. We must take action, or a changing and increasingly wilder climate, with increasingly frequent and intense droughts, fires, floods and storms, will defeat us.

— Abby Pariser, Huntington