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FEMA action starts at the top

A National Guard member loads boxes of prepared

A National Guard member loads boxes of prepared meals into a taxi for distribution to people in need in New York City in April. Credit: AP/Mary Altaffer

Your editorial “Mistreating the National Guard” [May 21] was not only right on the mark, but to my knowledge also was the first alert to the public about this intention of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

With the national order expiring in the future, it’s not something that would ordinarily be newsworthy — until after it had already happened. It’s doubtless what FEMA was counting on. And we know where this came from, i.e., “a senior FEMA official outlined the White House’s plan to end the federalization of the Guard members’ deployment on June 24, 89 days in and one day shy of qualifying ...” for some benefits that a 90-day deployment would have meant.

I don’t think anyone at FEMA would have concocted this without direction from the top. President Donald Trump constantly portrays himself as a champion of the military. But his actions suggest otherwise.

Thank you for alerting us.

Carl Grasso,

Huntington

Pelosi’s weighty words hurt teens

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently called President Donald Trump morbidly obese. She was throwing that term around like fact, but the body mass index website says differently.

Pelosi is not respecting the president or the American people. So many teenage girls and boys (and younger) have eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. They think they are overweight, but they are not. Children, teens and adults who are overweight might have been body-shamed and bullied. My fear is that they will look up their BMI and fat-shame themselves even more. The people with eating disorders will take Pelosi at her word, that the president is obese.

I see Pelosi as promoting fat-shaming and bullying, and that is anything but American.

Geraldine O’Keeffe,

St. James

We will survive, whoever leads us

Kenneth Strong asked why America leads in coronavirus deaths? We are third in population in the world and one of the most-traveled countries by tourists and many people spread the disease [“I hurt for our leaderless America,” Opinion, May 18]. I think we did pretty well. Do we need a leader with a message? Intelligent people can independently do what is right for their circumstances. Those who need to turn to others can look to the great people in their own lives for guidance.

He worries that few care about the greater good. Most people are good in their hearts and their actions, but you often do not hear or read about them. People help those in need, which is the greater good. America is the greatest country in the world because it offers so many a place with more freedom and opportunity. Examples of our greater good are all around you. Think of all who volunteer for a good cause, all the money we give as the most charitable nation in the world. I hope this makes you feel better, and our country will survive with its values intact, no matter who our leaders are.

Gregg Freedner,

Ronkonkoma

I empathize with Kenneth Strong because I am concerned for America as well. The current climate is tense between Democrats, many being Progressives and/or Socialists, and Republicans. At a time when Americans would be helped through this difficult time by unity among all parties in government, we are seeing division. I believe we can’t even rely on media to give us objective news. To me, CNN, Newsday and major television networks have played on the drama by putting a negative spin on anything our president does. President Donald Trump is not a polished speaker, but I say he had made America great again before this time. And I believe that Trump has worked with medical experts to provide all Americans with federal guidelines, and governors are supposed to fit these to their states.

Colleen Riley,

West Islip

Schools should revisit union pacts

Schools across the state are proposing staff layoffs while not considering opening union contracts to save jobs and protect student services.

Why aren’t government employees all in this together? The Albany Times Union on May 20 reported that the Troy school district proposed cutting 23 reading teacher positions. On the local level, the Hempstead school district and many other districts also risk the loss of staff positions.

Nassau County is projecting a $384 million budget shortfall for 2020. We are facing unprecedented financial stress. You could see the empty storefronts before the COVID-19 pandemic. The post-pandemic economic future does not look promising. How many more storefronts will not reopen after the lockdown ends?

Taxpayers have been generous by supporting lucrative salaries and benefits. Government employees should step forward now to protect jobs by revisiting union contracts. They should do it for their colleagues and the kids.

Joseph Campbell,

Port Washington

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