Keep Eastern Jackson County from being the next hot spot

To the editor:

“As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” – H.L. Mencken.

For Eastern Jackson County, the most dangerous time of the pandemic has now arrived. Spurred on by a minority crying that the cure is worse than the disease and fiction from the White House (it will magically disappear), get ready for the other big COVID shoe to drop.

Americans are impatient (a blessing) but often undisciplined (a curse). As Mark Twain wrote what Tom Sawyer said: “To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that thing.” Phase One (without regard to the CDC’s guidelines) will surely be a bumpier ride than we’ve experienced to date. The probability of one of those tiny virusy looking things being in your vicinity is absolutely increasing. The safest time to go anywhere was 60 days ago and your risk factors have been on the rise since.

I’m betting Harry Truman would be wearing a mask except when out for his walk. Wear your mask – let’s keep Eastern Jack from being a hot spot.

Alvin Twain, Independence

Insurance considerations during a pandemic

To the editor:

I spent most of my career in commercial property and casualty insurance and hope to collect a pension.

Business-income insurance helps companies stay afloat after a covered loss forces them to close or operate in a weakened state. Civil authority triggers coverage for businesses at least partially closed to reduce pandemic spread of a coronavirus. Some insurers previously added a pandemic exclusion, which means they thought the hazard existed. Insurers who did not exclude the peril owe their customers their loss of net income plus continuing expenses, usually including payroll.

Businesses that stayed open or re-opened may or may not have a liability to customers, if they slip and fall or get sick from their visit. Medical payments are a customer goodwill coverage, regardless of fault and are included in business liability insurance.

Insurance is regulated by the states who determine that claims ought to be paid. It is against public policy not to have insurance companies pay what they owe to insured businesses, in my opinion.

Jim Turner, Independence

There was a way to ‘PREDICT’ trouble from a virus pandemic

To the editor:

President Trump cancels our insurance policy by defunding “PREDICT.” Now some states are in fiscal trouble due to a failure of the federal government.

Governments are created in order to protect and defend “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” This Government has failed in all aspects of our “Declaration of Independence.” Our Unalienable Rights have been trampled under by the Trump Administration.

If states are indeed in fiscal trouble, it is because Congress and the administrations have not heeded the warnings of the past concerning a global pandemic. It is the first order of business and responsibility of the government to protect and defend the people of this nation.

In 2005, George W. Bush warned Congress that delaying action until a pandemic was to appear, it would be too late. “PREDICT” was launched in 2009 in response to the influenza A virus subtype H5N1 "bird flu" outbreak in 2005. It was designed and overseen by Dennis Carroll, then the director of the USAID emerging threats division, with epidemiologist Jonna Mazet of the University of California-Davis as its global director. The program was one of four projects within USAID's Emerging Pandemic Threats program, the others being “RESPOND,” “IDENTIFY” and “PREVENT.”

As we have seen from the current administration, Donald J. Trump – with classified briefings and warnings coming as early as 2017 concerning a scenario about the possibility of a pandemic facing the United States – chose to ignore the warning and in fact defunded – to the tune of $300 million – the “PREDICT” program, which probably would have provided at least some early warnings.

But the United States still would have been in trouble because Trump has no vision on how to lead. Stockpiling the necessary supplies to fight a pandemic should have been a priority of any administration since George W. Bush first echoed the warning, but those warnings went unheeded by all and defunded by the current administration.

Skip Speer, Kansas City