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Masks, vaccinations and what Trump said on Jan. 6

Milly Perez, owner of Milly Unisex Salon in

Milly Perez, owner of Milly Unisex Salon in Brentwood, gives Jerry Fuentes a perm Dec. 18. This photo was on Monday's exploreLI cover. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Leaders need to call masks necessary

Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein, Nassau County health commissioner, states that the science is unclear about whether masks stop the spread of the omicron variant ["Dems: Health commish did ‘flip-flop’ on masks," News, Jan. 12]. This is false.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website states: "Masks offer protection against all variants" and "wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, regardless of vaccination."

This contradiction by Eisenstein raises legitimate questions about whether he takes his "ethical obligation to speak the truth" seriously.

It is disqualifying for the health commissioner to advocate parental "personal choice" for masks in schools. Schools are not homes and do not have this discretion. Instead, schools follow state Department of Health and state Education Department guidance that includes consistent enforcement of mask mandates, which helps keep them open for in-person learning by protecting the millions of students and teachers who gather each day.

Now, more than ever, we need nonpartisan leadership in public health at the local and national levels. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past nearly two years, it’s that COVID-19 is color-blind. It doesn’t see red or blue, and neither should our public health leaders.

— Marc Epstein, Jericho

New York City has had a vaccination requirement for indoor dining, indoor fitness and indoor entertainment and meeting places for a while now. Comparing its infection rates with areas without these requirements, the city’s efforts are unequivocally working. I choose not to eat in a restaurant if there is the possibility of unvaccinated people who are present and unmasked.

I enjoy visiting restaurants. I first will call to see if they are checking vaccination records. If the answer is no, which is contrary to the governor’s directive, I will not make a reservation, and I let them know that I will not visit under those circumstances.

In my town, 77% are vaccinated. This majority must politely make their voices heard. Restaurant owners must choose between the 77% and the 23% minority who, for various reasons, choose to make our society less safe.

— Audie Kranz, East Meadow

Face mask below the nose is ineffective

On an exploreLI cover, a hairdresser has her mask below her nose ["Wave new world," Jan. 10] . This makes it ineffective to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We all must set an example. I see this wherever I go. We all have the responsibility of protecting ourselves as well as the people around us.

It’s good that Newsday published an article on the proper masks to wear ["Are cloth masks OK? What to know," News, Jan. 13].

At this rate, though, COVID is never going away.

— Riva Shechter, Westbury

Jan. 6: Go with your brain, not your heart

A reader cites in "Getting on track as a civil society" [Letters, Jan. 12] that then-President Donald Trump telling the Jan. 6 crowd to protest "peacefully and patriotically" was a major omission in the editorial "Pursuing the truth about Jan. 6" [Opinion, Jan. 9].

That’s like the guy who shot someone claiming he didn’t know the gun was loaded. If Trump did not want what happened, why wait three hours to stop it? The reader also ignores all the evidence of the prior planning.

And he also says, "I believe in my heart the election was stolen." People should use their brains, not their hearts, since there is no proof to support that belief. Going by one’s heart can be misleading.

And therein lies a large part of the problem with what is going on in this country. The right wants to believe in falsehoods despite facts and truth. And they seem willing to destroy this country to support those beliefs.

— Scott Diamond, Levittown

Former President Donald Trump did say, "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard." As such, the march to the Capitol was peaceful.

Trump also said, "You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You will have to show strength . . . if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore." That is

on video.

Nevertheless, a year later, there still seems to be a disconnect with the truth and facts of what happened that day. But, after all, liberty allows an opinion to be expressed freely. Democracy is disagreeing with opinions expressed freely without insult, disobedience or harm to others or things.

— Peter Scott, Centerport