On several occasions over the past months, Newsday has reported on Nassau University Medical Center’s financial woes ["Nassau to settle NUMC debt for $30.8M," News, Jan. 16]. While this is certainly an issue, I do not believe enough explanation is given about this public hospital’s mission to care for all comers. Many uninsured and underinsured are treated, and too often the cost of care exceeds the payment. Recently, I witnessed firsthand NUMC’s dedicated staff fulfilling their mission as long lines of patients stretched throughout the hallways awaiting a turn for COVID-19 vaccinations. The diversity of the population that relies on NUMC for care was clearly evident and these individuals, who far too often are the last in line for health care, were now getting timely and appropriate care.
Editor’s note: The writer is a health care professor at St. Joseph’s College.
Hospital staffs must rely on vaccine
I was distressed reading that not even two-thirds of Long Island hospital workers have been vaccinated through choice, given that they were in the first group designated to receive it ["Facilities urging workers to get COVID-19 shots," News, Jan. 23]. I find it shocking that only 45% of nurses and an even lower percentage of the non-medical staff have received shots. At a time when hospitalizations are rising, hospitals, with reduced staffs, will be unable to handle all the incoming patients. In addition, hesitant non-vaccinated staff members are putting their patients and families at risk. I believe that hospital workers need to be educated just like the rest of us who are declining a vaccine that is safe and effective. Kudos to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s chief infectious disease expert, for leading the way.
Overlooking the role of journalists
Analysts and historians may one day write about what was omitted on Inauguration Day amid our celebration that democracy survived and its leaders were installed. It was made possible, in my view, not by those elected or even those who elected them but by the free press — the reporters, editors and news media — that provided the facts, context and forums in which candidates could be heard, the public informed and decisions made. Thomas Jefferson said in 1816, "Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." Indeed, without them, the journalists, we would have known nothing. We would be no more than a modern tower of babble, created and manipulated by a dictator. On Jan. 20, journalists not only prevailed as those without whom we would have failed as a democracy. They also have stood the test while being physically attacked, their lives threatened, and maligned as individuals and as an institution. We owe them a debt of service, and it is ours to pay.
Peter W. Jacobs,
Port Jefferson Station
Editor’s note: The writer is a former reporter and editor for The Associated Press and an independent international media consultant.
Make Jan. 6 a day of remembrance
We think of Dec. 7, 1941 as a "day of infamy" that will live in many Americans’ hearts. Then, we were attacked by a foreign enemy. Now, we have a 21st century version of infamy, Jan. 6, 2021, when domestic terrorists and insurrectionists stormed our Capitol, brutally and savagely beat police officers and crassly destroyed property. These events cry out for justice and prosecution of the individuals involved. Lest future generations forget (as many younger people have forgotten or don’t know much about Dec. 7), I suggest Jan. 6 be set aside as a Day of Remembrance and Service to our country. Congress should introduce such a bill, perhaps also calling for a reading of the U.S. Constitution.
Quite a difference in just two weeks
America’s exceptionalism was on display on Jan. 20. America’s shame was on display on Jan. 6.
Disdain for Trump goes beyond politics
I am a moderate Democrat who nonetheless believes that no one side has all the answers and that sometimes change is necessary to keep one side or the other in check. I did not dislike former President Donald Trump because he was a "Republican" (of convenience) or because he was a conservative, or because he was wrong all the time (as wasn’t the case with any other president). I disliked him purely because of his narcissism, his incivility and his evident desire to push the presidency in the direction of authoritarian rule, as most recently demonstrated by the events of Jan. 6. We dodged a bullet by denying this man a second term.