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My dad is 94 but can't get the COVID-19 vaccine

Ian Mauro, an emergency medical technician and paramedic,

Ian Mauro, an emergency medical technician and paramedic, administers the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 15 at Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook. Credit: Raychel Brightman

The ruling-class elected officials and their mostly young and healthy staff members have made sure to be first in line for the COVID-19 vaccine ["What’s next as NY expands vaccinations," News, Jan. 3]. Because he is not a member of the elite class allowed to receive the vaccine, like so many others, my World War II veteran father sits at home afraid to leave his apartment for fear of catching the virus. After watching what I view as the obscene spectacle of 31-year-old Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) getting the vaccine and lecturing us all about its virtues, I contacted my father’s congressman, state assemblyman and city council member. They offered words of concern but no solutions. No social justice for the elderly. So my dad and countless other elderly and infirm sit isolated at home waiting, along with thousands of out-of-work New Yorkers, often standing on long food lines to provide for their families. Government-imposed lockdowns have left tens of thousands of small family businesses and the jobs they provide in ruins. Meanwhile, elected officials live in a surreal alternate universe where they enjoy uninterrupted job security, weekly paychecks and their COVID-19 vaccine. How did this moral depravity by the political elite become the new normal?

Bob Friedrich,

Glen Oaks

I am only one of the forgotten group of the thousands of school bus drivers and bus assistants who transport the most precious of cargoes to school every day amid this pandemic. We are totally susceptible to contracting this virus. I want to know why Albany does not consider school bus drivers, along with school teachers, as being part of the priority group for the vaccine. It would be easy enough to line us all up at our bus yards for inoculation. We deserve the right to be protected. Please add us to the list.

Sue Rubenstein,


Siege was an assault on democracy

We witnessed insurrection, sedition and idiocy ["Pro-Trump mob in attack at U.S. Capitol, News, Jan. 7]. Hopefully, it is the last horrific event of President Donald Trump’s attempt for autocracy. Hopefully, most of the nation will realize that these past four years have been a scam — an attempt to thwart our democracy by an autocrat-in-training. Trump will go down in history as one of our worst presidents — a liar and immoral human whose only interest was his self-aggrandizement. I say that the 25th Amendment must be invoked immediately before he does more damage to our fragile democracy. These dark days will end Jan. 20. I’m confident that our democracy will once again flourish, and we will again be that shining beacon in the world.

Jeff Goldschmidt,

Stony Brook

As I watched the desecration of our Capitol, I saw members of Congress take cover as terrorists broke down doors to their chamber. I pose a question to President Donald Trump’s loyalists: Was it worth it? Was the threat to our democracy worth the appointment of conservative judges and the tax cuts that mostly benefited the rich and big business? Was it worth gutting regulations that protect citizens and the environment? Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley): Was aligning yourself with Trump worth the photo ops and fundraising efforts, and as a veteran, did loyalty to Trump outweigh your pledge to uphold the Constitution? Can you still pretend that this man, who once posed wrapped in our flag, actually loves our country? I have called upon you repeatedly to put country before party, before Trump. Yet you stood on the House floor after terrorists tried halting our peaceful transfer of power and still voted to disenfranchise millions of voters, reinforcing the "stolen election" lies. I believe your legacy will show you on the wrong side of history. I pray that the damage inflicted on our nation can be repaired in my lifetime. A Capitol policeman and protesters died Wednesday. Was it worth it?

Myra S. Vaughn,


"Drain the swamp" and "Make America Great Again" are two slogans that contributed to the election of President Donald Trump. Now, he has shown us how easy it could be to turn America into a banana republic. The media reported his lies, conspiracies and rabble-rousing. On Jan. 6, Trump fed the growing and ongoing frenzy for self-serving advantage ["House chamber threatened," News, Jan. 7]. Where was our National Guard? In a prior event, the guard attacked a peaceful orderly Black Lives Matter protest. I say the guard should have been ready this time to prevent the insurrection on our Capitol. We are better than that. As Benjamin Franklin said, we are "a republic, if you can keep it." I see the riots as the culmination of four years of shame, and now is the time to invoke the 25th Amendment. I am disheartened with the Capitol chaos.

Holly Gordon,

Bay Shore

What disturbs me the most about our country’s division is the blindness of people to the obvious tyrannical attributes of President Donald Trump. It was not long ago that we witnessed the devastation by Germany’s Adolf Hitler. It’s dangerous following a person who refuses to give up his power under the Constitution. Our laws were designed to prevent such tyranny and to keep us out of harm’s way of dictatorship. People, open your eyes to the obvious and protect our democracy.

Diane McGuire,


Discussion of using the 25th Amendment to remove a delusional, destructive, pathological, amoral president from office is absolutely appropriate to me after the Washington events. Now, what’s the remedy for removing immoral members of Congress who, unlike the president, know the difference between right and wrong, truth and lies, fact and fiction, and just choose their own political ambitions over country every time?

Andrea S. Libresco,


Up until Jan. 6, I believed that most supporters of President Donald Trump were hapless loons or harmless buffoons. After the events at the Capitol, I now believe that many Trump supporters are violent, anarchistic usurpers of democracy and are domestic terrorists willing to destroy America to appease his false claims.

Robert Reill,

East Rockaway

As Congress completed the 2020 election certification at the Capitol, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said, "Count me out. Enough is enough." This is truly the definition of "too little, too late." Four years of pandering and enabling the antics of President Donald Trump. Four years of putting power, position and party ahead of principles. A violent mob is his line in the sand? A disgusting betrayal of our country and her people? An outrageous display of thuggery? Though the president bears most of the responsibility for inciting this madness, he was fed by many enablers, and in my opinion they are all complicit in this tragic debacle. We will all do well to use this experience as a lesson. This is a moment of reckoning, particularly for the Republican Party, and needs to be a guiding force forward if we have any hope of this nation of ours surviving Trump’s tragic presidency.

Maryellen Viola,

Massapequa Park

President Donald Trump, in my view, has only himself to blame for his election defeat. He did too little too late, and never enough to stall the COVID-19 spread. As a result, the economy tanked and the resulting financial hardship could have easily cost him the votes he needed to win. He went to Georgia to support two Senate races and, rather than talk up the candidates, he mostly rehashed his baseless allegations of massive voter fraud. As a result, he cost the Republicans the Senate majority. Then, on Wednesday, he not so cryptically instigated a riot, which tipped the scales for so many in his own party who had seen him as aiding a potential last-gasp effort to overturn the election.

Robert Gerver,

Kings Park

As a lifelong American citizen and longtime registered Republican, I found it disturbing to see the mob storming our Capitol, doing what Russian President Vladimir Putin has worked toward for decades — to sow discord and chaos among ourselves ["Pro-Trump mob in attack at U.S. Capitol," News, Jan. 7]. President Donald Trump’s unpresidential behavior, plus a lack of even the mildest pushback, as usual, regarding anything that may be perceived, real or imagined, as adversarial involving Russia defies his job description of keeping the American people safe. The Capitol riot leads one to again wonder: Who is working for whom? Is Trump a willing or unwitting pawn in a geopolitical chess game controlled by Putin? Either way, in only four years, Trump has sown more chaos, discord and division within our nation and with most of our key global allies than the Russians could ever have dreamed of, or implemented on their own.

Mike Solomon,


The rhetoric spewed by the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, on Jan. 6 incited the attack on the Capitol. It was followed by the words of President Donald Trump, who further encouraged the mob to fight. It was clear evidence of sedition and inciting to riot. This despicable behavior encouraged a mob to disrupt the government and damage our treasured democracy. All the world could see it, and our global standing was also damaged, further weakening our democracy. For this reason, I support invoking the 25th Amendment and removing this president even though there are only a few days left in his presidency. It is clear he committed a felony. By invoking the 25th Amendment, a clear message would be made to those misguided patriots and the world that we are a nation based on democracy and the rule of law.

Patrick Ehmann,