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Readers react to revelations in Woodward book

Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward arrives at

Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward arrives at Trump Tower in Manhattan on Jan. 3, 2017. Credit: AP/Andrew Harnik

President Donald Trump said as early as February that he deliberately downplayed how deadly the coronavirus was because he didn’t want to cause panic ["Trump remarks interpreted," News, Sept. 14]. Would an alert be akin to yelling "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater? How about a message like this: "Health professionals are warning that the coronavirus pandemic could be as deadly as the Spanish flu of 1918. But we can take steps to minimize the effects, among them wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and frequently washing our hands. It will be tough, but I’m confident the American people can get through it, as we’ve done so many times in our history." To me, his advisers failed him.

Paul M. Eckstein,


I’ve seen President Donald Trump’s White House surrogates use the term "fog of war" in the media to explain away his misleading the American people about the dangers the coronavirus posed. "The Fog of War" is also the name of the 2003 film documentary given by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations during the height of the Vietnam War, attempting to confront his and the U.S. government’s actions in Southeast Asia. McNamara, the war’s central architect, later said he regretted his actions. Regret is an emotion that I believe Trump will never feel or express about his being central to concealing the truth about COVID-19. The Vietnam War lasted more than a decade with 58,220 American deaths. Thus far, six months into the pandemic, more than 197,000 Americans have died.

Andrew Malekoff,

Long Beach

President Donald Trump, explaining at campaign rallies why he downplayed the severity of COVID-19, likened his actions to those of President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II. Trump claims downplaying the virus is the same as those leaders calming the people to prevent panic. I see this comparison as insulting to the memories of two great world leaders. When FDR said, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself," he was also warning us we faced a formidable enemy and that would require great sacrifice by each of us, but that united we would meet that challenge. FDR and Churchill rallied their countries to fight together against the enemy, achieving a great victory. In contrast, Trump continues to contradict the advice of medical experts to contain the virus, leading to deaths now nearing 200,000 Americans and shows no sign of stopping. His rallies bring crowds of unmasked people close together flouting health guidelines. He does, however, have attendees sign a waiver for any illness they may suffer attending. Calming the people and encouraging return to business as usual has achieved one goal. The stock market is performing well. That’s all that seems to matter.

Robert Ambrose,


Khrushchev’s ‘prediction’ a reality?

It took a while, but Communist leader Nikita Khrushchev’s alleged prediction is coming true: America will be destroyed from within.

Michael Quane,

South Hempstead

Bloomberg tries to disrupt reelection

It is so disappointing to see that former Mayor Mike Bloomberg is contributing $100 million to help former Vice President Joe Biden in Florida ["Bloomberg to spend $100M to help Biden campaign in Fla.," News, Sept. 14]. I believe this money could be put to better use to feed the homeless, take care of veterans and wounded warriors, and take care of others who are starving. I see this as a waste of money, and I am very angry. I see Bloomberg as hating President Donald Trump so much that he will do anything to disrupt his reelection. It appears to me that both he and Biden want to make America socialist. I say this will not happen to America because we are too smart.

Salvatore A. Passaretti,


Woodside a better place for AirTrain

I believe that Willets Point is one of the worst places to build the AirTrain ["La Guardia AirTrain key in several ways," Letters, Sept. 13]. I believe it should be built at Woodside, where many more people would use it. Under the current proposal, Long Islanders would need to take a train to Woodside, get off and wait for another train to Willets Point. Woodside is a huge hub and, like Jamaica, buses, subway and trains pass through Woodside. To me, that would be the smartest place to spend taxpayers’ money.

Karl Wilhelm,

West Babylon

Ballot advice an unnecessary expense

I received a postal card from the U.S. Postal Service ["Ballot requests top 200G," News, Sept. 11]. Isn’t the Post Office drowning in red ink? Doesn’t it need billions of dollars to keep going? The card gives advice for getting and returning a mail-in ballot. It seems that this card is unnecessary. Each state has its own rules. How much did it cost to print the tens of millions of cards and the addresses? How much did it cost to sort them and have them delivered? I see this as an outrage.

Stanford Berman,