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Impact of the virus and Trump's diagnosis

President Donald Trump arrives at the White House

President Donald Trump arrives at the White House on Thursday after a campaign event in New Jersey. Credit: Yuri Gripas/Pool/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

First of all, I would like to offer my prayers to President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. I pray that they get over this virus. This just goes to show you anyone can come down with this virus. Rich or poor, and young or old. COVID-19 infections are increasing worldwide, and that is most troubling. In New York, and especially in Queens and Brooklyn, more people are testing positive. The virus is spreading to dozens of states. It seems this could be a start of a second wave and more people could be infected as winter approaches. And yet maybe some people are getting lazy and not doing the right thing. They should be social distancing, wearing face masks and washing hands frequently. Also, testing for COVID-19 is as important. Some people are not taking this pandemic seriously enough and especially the younger generation, many of whom think they can’t come down with this disease. If you look at the various protests, you will see some people wearing face masks or social distancing. Many of them don’t realize they could bring home the virus. I’m a senior citizen and worry about some of these careless people. So I say, America, get smart and do the right thing. Also, get your flu shot because the flu can kill, too. We all need to practice common sense. And thank you for all those who practice good health habits.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,


I would like to know how President Donald Trump specifically will proceed with his campaign now that he has been diagnosed with COVID-19, along with his wife and aide Hope Hicks. This is no joke, Mr. President. Will he eventually go back to going to campaign rallies without a mask? How many of those attending previous rallies have been diagnosed? Everyone who attended those rallies should be concerned.

Camille Morselli,

Islip Terrace

Thursday night I had the strangest dream, nay, nightmare. I dreamed I was at a small gathering and President Donald Trump arrived, boisterous and unperturbed. He proceeded to propose that all of us join him in skydiving without parachutes. "It will be the biggest, best, greatest experience of your life," he insisted. Like hitting the ground and getting squashed is something a sane person would volunteer for. Meanwhile, aboard Air Force One, his own personal parachute safely awaited his use of it. I say to my fellow voters, let’s end this national nightmare. We have a lot of repair work to do.

Marjorie Harrison,


There are few areas of performance in which I believe President Donald Trump has proven himself to be even marginally competent. In fact, I say he will be ranked at the bottom of all presidents. One aspect of his performance, though, might fall on the plus side. His response to the pandemic put on display a unique and characteristic trait of the American experience — individual freedom as a defining principle. Our entire population has been left to respond to the pandemic in ways that emphasize individual freedom. That freedom, engrained in America since its founding, has given us enormous strength while, this time, has caused the catastrophic and deadly response to COVID-19.

Hans G. Wenze,

South Farmingdale

Almost 3,000 lives were lost on the 9/11 terror attacks. For more than a year after that awful event, we would see pictures and read stories about the people who were lost. We felt it deeply in our hearts, and we shed tears. Now with nearly 210,000 people lost to the coronavirus, what we see is a statistic, a number that continues to grow at an alarming rate each day. Somehow that vast number doesn’t seem to register in the same way. People almost seem blase about it. Perhaps the media needs to be more personal about this awful loss. Then maybe the enormity of this tragedy will truly be felt by all.

Eddie Glickstein,

East Meadow

President Donald Trump told a rally recently that he would give himself a grade of A for how he handled the pandemic — as if the pandemic is done. This is how I believe millions of us would grade him: He was Absent and Abandoned us when we needed leadership; made Absurd remarks and outright lies; pitted Americans Against one another; Alienated and Abased citizens who needed help; used Atrocious and Aggressive bullying to Attack heroes and patriots; and showed no Atonement for Agony of lives lost. So, in a way, he does get an A, not the A that he claimed but the ones I believe he earned by his Abominable behavior and Actions.

Tyna Strenger,


A reader objects to the loss of freedom of travel and group religious observance during the pandemic. I expect the government — i.e., the people we elect — to protect our health when a pandemic is in progress. If that requires travel limitations, so be it. And isn’t a basic tenet of religion that we are our brothers’ keepers, including protection from a highly contagious disease? As for mail-in voting, if he worries that his privacy will be compromised, he is free to cast his secret ballot at his polling place on Election Day. Freedom here includes the option of people, who so choose, to avoid risking COVID-19 infection by casting a mail-in ballot in accordance with established procedures. Life isn’t easy. Is it too much to ask that you temporarily sacrifice a bit of your normally unrestricted lifestyle for the sake of public health and safety?

Paul Jacobs,


While it is encouraging that Long Islanders are witnessing the economic resilience of our downtowns, we are still just learning what the long-term impacts of the coronavirus will be on suburban real estate markets and land-use policy. While there is no denying the longstanding need for more housing options on Long Island, municipalities must not jump the gun by blindly allowing more development. Instead, we must take a more measured approach to growth that balances both the region’s economic and environmental needs. This includes thoughtfully targeting redevelopment efforts in key areas where the appropriate supportive infrastructure is in place, adapting preexisting commercial properties to meet the needs of the 21st century worker, and ensuring the continued preservation of our open spaces. One of the most powerful lessons that the pandemic has taught us is the enduring value of our communities. With thoughtful planning and study, we can ensure that future generations benefit from the lessons we’ve learned from the coronavirus.

Richard Murdocco,


Editor’s note: The writer is an adjunct professor in Stony Brook University’s public policy master’s degree program.