MTA must enforce masks on the LIRR
In addition to all the comments about the Long Island Rail Road cuts in services, there is another point to be made: the lack of enforcement of the mask requirement ["LIRR adds cars, but service is still cut," Letters, March 11]. I usually take the Long Beach/Far Rockaway line from Valley Stream to Penn Station in the afternoon and return around midnight. There are always at least two or three riders not wearing masks or wearing them wrong. When I ask the conductors about it, they give the lame excuse that they make an announcement to wear them so what else could they do. I also want to know where the Metropolitan Transportation Authority police are. I usually see several of the MTA’s finest standing around Penn Station at around 12 a.m., texting and chatting. I guess that is their interpretation of patrolling and enforcing rules. People with no masks walk right past them and they say nothing. The masks, per LIRR announcements, are required in the stations as well as on the trains. So why is the mandate to wear masks on public transportation not being enforced by either the police or LIRR? I wonder if a single $50 fine has ever been given. Is it laziness or management’s decision to be politically correct and not offend? How many have maybe died because of it?
The MTA’s decision to institute a weekend schedule for weekdays during the pandemic failed to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for traveling. The MTA’s actions have potentially caused a superspreader of COVID-19 and endangered the lives of the LIRR commuters and conductors. Waiting until March 29 to reinstate the weekday schedule is unacceptable. Any further delay in reinstating the weekday schedule will continue to put many lives at risk. The MTA must act now.
Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.,
Editor’s note: The writer is a former chairman of the New York State Senate Transportation Committee.
U.S. should confront China and WHO
Newsday’s editorial board wrote a nice "Kumbaya" piece about mutual reliance and international cooperation for vaccine distribution to end this pandemic ["COVID milestone a grim reminder," Editorial, March 11]. But I believe the editorial goes too soft on the details involving the World Health Organization and China. The Chinese government is initially responsible for the pandemic and apparently failed to disclose all the facts about the outbreak to the world’s nations, hiding behind the WHO. Facts about the spread, infection, death rates and disease’s origin were never disclosed early so other nations could take appropriate preventive steps. Now the United States is spending trillions of dollars to recover from the pandemic’s devastating effects without any apparent plan to hold the Chinese government accountable. If international cooperation means not looking the Chinese government in the eye and demanding change, then I believe we are in big trouble.
James T. Rooney,
Certification vote has two sides to the story
Newsday printed three letters under the headline "Zeldin unfit to lead anywhere" [March 8]. All three readers mentioned the vote by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) against certifying the presidential election as evidence of his unfitness to serve. One said he voted to overturn the will of the people. I wonder where these readers were in 2016 when seven Democratic House members objected to the electoral votes from multiple states after former President Donald Trump defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by an electoral vote of 304 to 227? More recently, Stacey Abrams refused to concede after her 2018 defeat by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. Were these letter writers so upset about those Democrats seeking to undermine the will of the people that they wrote letters to Newsday to protest? Unlikely. It would seem that it’s horrible only when a member of a certain opposing party contests an election, but not when a Democrat does.
I was amused to read that Rep. Lee Zeldin is exploring a run for governor ["Zeldin exploring run for governor," News, March 3]. I guess he must be thinking that he did a good job of kissing up to former President Donald Trump. As a veteran, Zeldin had handed me a proclamation on Veterans Day five years ago at the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees headquarters, and I had cherished it until he started agreeing with everything Trump did. Who needs a Trump lackey for governor of New York? Trump and New York don’t go well together. That’s why he’s now at Mar-a-Lago. I hope Zeldin will get going and join Trump there, too, so we can have peace and quiet.