Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Tuesday, Sep. 28


Focus on fixing the problems of today

The Sept. 22 Gazette column by Richard Hughes (“Just teach the truth about our less-than-glorious history”), like so many leftists, can only see the bad in America.
The 1619 project, critical race theory and reparations for slavery are all being pushed by groups that seem to want to be victims rather than productive citizens.
Yes Mr. Hughes, the United States has many blemishes on its historical record, but what country doesn’t have blemishes?
Many of those sins were offset by the United States coming to the aid of the rest of the world during World War I and II and Korea.  I choose to look at the glass three-quarters full and not one-quarter empty.
Hughes may want to look in the mirror as one of those teaching our young people during the last 40 years. The left has been in control of the education system. For many, the Japanese internment you referred to was often viewed as a California issue, not studied much in the rest of the country, much like the Revolutionary War in the east.
Our society is not very conscious of its history and tends to look up with hope, a Judeo-Christian value.
Let’s address our problems of today and quit trying to look for where someone might be the victim of some previous injury.
Look at the thousands of people streaming across our southern border, including people from the island nation of Haiti, and tell them that this is a country without heart.
They want what is here in the United States of America.
Gerard F. Havasy
Clifton Park

We must encourage medical innovation

My father suffered a stroke at the height of the pandemic in April of 2020.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, my mom and I couldn’t visit him until 10 minutes after he had already passed away. No family should have to lose a loved one in the tragic way that we did. In the midst of the pandemic, this experience was unfortunately all too common.
Thankfully, we now have multiple vaccines helping us move past this terrible chapter, and these treatments have offered so much hope during these uncertain times.
That’s why it unnerves me to learn that Congress is currently considering changes to Medicare. According to the CBO, proposals calling for Medicare negotiation could mean fewer treatments make it to market.
Under the guise of the term “negotiation,” these changes to Medicare would give the government unprecedented control in determining the price of medication.
Medicare negotiation gives the government way too much control in health care. To sustain our world-leading access to medicines, we need to keep up the momentum that the pharmaceutical industry has and encourage innovation, not hinder it.
Now more than ever, we need New York’s representatives to fight for innovation and policy changes that protect and promote research.
At a time like this, elected officials should be working overtime to pass smart, safe policies, and Medicare negotiation isn’t it.
Gina LaViolette


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


William Aiken

Florida2015: The Fine People’s Hoax is an example of media manipulation, which many still believe is real. So let’s look at two of your points. So I can specifically address them. It’s refreshing to engage with someone, whom I disagree with without the personal attacks.

Yesterday you posted this:

But the meme misrepresents Trump’s statements, because he did not say directly, “There were very fine people on both sides, & I’m not talking about the Neo-nazis and white supremacists because they should be condemned totally.” The two statements were separate, the second part coming later, after further questioning from reporters. During the first presidential debate, both Wallace and Biden referenced Trump’s “very fine people” comment but did not say he applied it to neo-Nazis.”

Here’s the link to 45’s Charlottesville press conference that include both of his remarks:

It’s true that 53 seconds elapsed from the time 45 said there were fine people on both sides and his clarifier putting his statement in its correct context. If you watch the video, 45 made his clarification without any prompting from reporters. In America, we don’t hold our elect leaders to a standard that denies them clarification of a
misunderstood comment, nor should we. This etiquette should be applied equally to both parties.

As far as Wallace is concerned, it’s no coincidence that he failed to cite the numerous (dozens) times 45 had denounced white supremacy. He relentlessly hammered 45 on this point. As I stated earlier, a serious journalist would’ve put pressure on Biden to explain his Fine People remarks. Wallace gave Biden a total pass. His omission was intentional and a disgrace for journalism.

However, a broader point is how did Trump manage to increase his support among all minorities in 2020? He achieved this feat through his policies, not by pandering. Blacks are sick and tired of Democrats using them to stir up emotions every four years as their political pawns. Consider the results of Trump’s policies; Record low Black unemployment, increased lower wages, permanent funding of HBCs, investments in school choice and opportunity zones. 45 didn’t care that minorities, by and large didn’t support him. He conducted himself as a president, who represented of all the people.


“The boiled frog (the proverbial tale of a frog that is boiled too slowly to realize what’s happening to it) is now returning, in the form of “replacement theory.” The GOP seems either unconscious of what’s happening — or doesn’t care.”

“The Republican Party’s increasing embrace of replacement theory — the idea popular in white supremacist circles that immigrants are being brought in to replace native-born White Americans — has been a slow build….”

“What has transpired over the past week, though, shows how quickly something can be injected into the bloodstream when that dressed-up version is initially given a pass. While some of the most prominent members of the conservative movement have increasingly espoused a version of replacement theory without calling it that — and sometimes seeking to differentiate it from the white supremacist version — they’re now just straight-up embracing the label.”

“The progression is, as it often has been on such things, best exemplified by Tucker Carlson.”

“Back in April, the Anti-Defamation League called for Carlson’s firing over a segment endorsing his version of replacement theory.
Carlson had said in a segment, “I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term ‘replacement’ if you suggest that the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate — the voters now casting ballots — with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World. But they become hysterical because that’s what’s happening actually. Let’s just say it. That’s true.”

“Carlson last week doubled down and used the actual label favored by racist groups — “great replacement” — and more recently got some backup from a member of Congress, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).” –
Imagine that.

Republican leaders and Fox; Nice job of doing whatever you can to further divide our already broken nation.

Lou you do not hold with the concept that the merits of of an idea are independent of those who support it. Perhaps you have an explanation as to why the closed Southern border is so porous. If you do please enlighten us.

Sorry Lou couldn’t resist.

Mr Aiken, You have made a valid point,(but there is confusion at the 1 minute 50 second spot and the press DID ask another question to clarify his remarks) I will answer you the same way you answer other posters on here who point out your errors in what you post. Crickets, nada, silence
And I could care less what Chris Wallace asked FG .
And you didn’t answer with you thoughts about the “Stand back stand by” comment from your boy.
Lastly your boy lost by what 8 million votes, how do you explain that?

William Aiken

Can we agree that the media omitted the evidence of Trump denouncing white supremacist and neo-nazi at his Charlottesville press conference? You seem to care deeply about Trump’s bluster. It’s his policies that mattered. The media has such hatred of the former president that they abandoned their skepticism and journalism principals to join sides with the Democrats. They ran with Russia Collusion, which they knew was a fake story. The Durham’s investigation will bare that out. Stay tuned!

I’ve accepted that Trump lost the election. Democrats simply out worked the GOP with the mail in ballots. I tip my hat to them for executing their game plan. Now it turns out that moderate Joe Biden deceived his voters by going hard left on one day with his record number of executive orders and creating a crisis at the border.

So I would stop obsessing over Trump’s words. He’s out. You have bigger concerns. Biden’s inept governance has spond multiple disasters. He’s not up for the job and is setting the stage for your worst nightmare…Trump takes back the Oval Office in 2024.

How about we agree that you’re fixated on deflecting from Trump and Co.’s problems that continue to grow, even while you and his other followers frantically try to find dirt elsewhere.

Trump followers continue to claim ‘Russian collusion is a fake story’, and it’s obviously not. Trump followers continue to believe his frantic pleas of a rigged election, even though the evidence he tried to meddle in the results is right there on tape, in spoken words and sworn testimony.

So how about we agree that your attempts to put lipstick on a pig is not sustainable, and you’ll eventually have to return to your dark places and continue the muttering in hiding, instead of inflicting it on the American public?

Mr. Biden (who I did not support, but eventually chose as the lesser evil) has had missteps and misspeaks, but the heart of the Democrats remains adhered to the American Constitution and the good of the American people, all of them. We cannot say, and did not accept, that Trump and the Republicans have the same intentions.


A new Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll found that the highly transmissible Delta variant, overburdened hospitals and knowing someone who has died or become seriously ill from Covid-19 drove recent increases in vaccination.

Among those vaccinated since June 1, 39% said they were motivated by transmission of the Delta variant, 38% by the growing burden of Covid-19 on hospitals and 36% by knowing someone who became seriously ill or died.
Thirty-five percent said a major reason was to participate in activities where vaccinations are required, such as traveling.
Nineteen percent said it was because it was mandated by their employer.

But almost 70 million have still not been vaccinated. As I’ve said before, it should be mandated and required to fly and use other forms of transportation, sporting and entertainment events and even malls and department stores. If someone wants to choose not getting vaccinated and lose their job, well that’s their choice.

William Marincic

Harris, You, people, say someone’s personal choice is selfish not to get the vaccine. What is really selfish is expecting people to surrender their liberties so that you can enjoy a false sense of security.


Billy – Look at who are being hospitalized and dying, the unvaccinated. They are keeping the pandemic going. Public safety trumps personal liberties. The courts agree. We are a country of laws. Too bad you and Trump don’t agree.

William Marincic

Ray, that’s their problem, they made a choice. I’m vaccinated but now wish I weren’t. Do you wonder why people aren’t getting vaccinated? Biden’s message, masks all over again, the unvaccinated getting the vaccinated sick, the doubt on the vaccine when Trump was President. Everything Biden touches turns to crap.

Which part of the term, “contagious” won’t you accept?

EVERYONE is capable of transmitting the virus, WHETHER THEY’RE VACCINATED OR NOT. If you’re vaccinated there’s less chance, but still a significant chance.
So yes, you are being selfish to think your “personal freedoms” come before the health of others.

Again I ask, which part of “contagious” don’t you accept?
Oh right, the scientific part.

William Aiken

Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Joseph Vendetti


Do you understand we (you, I & the fencepost) had received 14 vaccines by the time we reached 6th grade.

The germs are all around us – polio, malaria, hepatitis, mumps, measles, rubella, etc. We have eredicated the illnesses and all the side effects because we have developed herd immunity to the germs.

Not just for me or you or our kids our neighbors because sometimes the germs sneak thru our defenses because we get old or immunocompromised.

So no ones personal freedoms are being infringed.

William Aiken

In America, we have the freedom of choice. Mandating the vaccine under the threat of being fired or barring your child from attending school, not only infringes on our freedoms, its a tyrannic, one-size-fits all model that doesn’t take into account people who already have herd immunity, are pregnant, or have a medical complication.

According to American Academy of Pediatrics in survey from February 2020 to August 2021 covering 45 US states:

Among states reporting, children were 0.00%-0.27% of all COVID-19 deaths, and 7 states reported zero child deaths
​In states reporting, 0.00%-0.03% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death

Is mandating vaccines for kids following the science? The media has elevated Dr. Fauci to deity status. When you consider how extremely rare the instances of Covid kid fatalities are, our government has taken an inflexible position of what should a patient/doctor decision. Not a government that causes more harm than good.

Maybe you missed this part:

“Do you understand we (you, I & the fencepost) had received 14 vaccines by the time we reached 6th grade.”

Care to respond to that?
And as an aside: Do you have kids?

ChuckD more deflection. Did you read the CDC numbers Mr. Aiken provided. Follow the science. You can’t have it both ways

William Aiken

No I actually did read Joe’s post. And his points don’t diminish the points I made which you ignored and never addressed. Whether I have kids doesn’t change the dynamics I laid out, either. The shutting down of our education system was the dumbest mistake in human history. There will be long term mental health consequences for the children who were shut out of school. Our nation could have dealt with Covid much better if safety wasn’t the lone consideration in the decision to lock down society.

Repeating the word “deflection” does nothing to convince people you all are not doing the very thing. Repeating a lie does not make it true to most of the public. Only a select few.

Transmission Mitigation
What are the risks of transmission for youth in sports and physical activity?

Pediatricians, policy makers, school administrators, and families must consider the mounting evidence regarding COVID-19 in children and adolescents, including the role children and adolescents may play in transmission of the infection. The evidence to date indicates that children and adolescents are less likely than adults to be symptomatic or have severe disease resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Data suggest adolescents may spread SARS-CoV-2 as efficiently as adults. Additional studies are needed to truly understand the infectivity and transmissibility of this virus in children and adolescents.

“You have bigger concerns. Biden’s inept governance has spawned multiple disasters. He’s not up for the job and is setting the stage for your worst nightmare…Trump takes back the Oval Office in 2024.”

This is absolutely correct.


What’s he going to do, call in his 1/6/21 criminal insurrectionist troops, that aren’t already in jail, to attempt to storm the White House, because there certainly aren’t enough fascists haters of democracy left around do vote for orange evil.

Hi Lou, well I submit there are plenty of people who dislike Trump (myself for one) but yet still are appalled at what the democrats are doing and have done to our country. I think you may be too harsh in your dismissal of anyone who dislikes the government in their face 24 hours a day as ‘fascists’. I think all the ‘Trump Supporters’ really want is for the damn government to leave them alone. I do believe that if things continue as they are, old ‘orange 45’ will be old ‘orange 47’. Is that good? I dunno. Anything is better than the current horror.

William Marincic

After Biden’s four years is up America will be begging for Trump to return. BTW, no matter, even if Biden is replaced on the ticket and they win we will have enough Senate votes to override any veto.


It wont take facist haters of democracy. It will only take clear thinkers who realize Biden is at best an embarrassment and an incompetent who had screwed up the border, withdrawal from Afghanistan, etc.

Joseph Vendetti


Our Individual Freedoms only exist because we have universal freedoms of a society free of disease, clean water, etc.

This is another way to look at vaccines – these are what you and I all got vaccinated for before our 1st day in school.

Hepatitis B
Hepatitis A
Whooping cough
Pneumococcal disease

You can go ask your doctor to draw your blood and request your antibody level (Titer) for Mumps, or Rubella, or Chickenpox, or any of the things we have been vaccinated for.

Over the years our Titers diminish – but because as a society we continue to vaccinate our youngest (oldest & immunocompromised) we keep those illnesses at bay. Because the germs, polio, tuberculosis, measles, mumps, chickenpox, covid, etc will always be there. The vaccines aren’t meant and can never eradicate the germ, the virus – they eradicate the major illnesses and outbreaks that can occur when we have pandemics.

If enough people either get vaccinated, get covid (and survive), and/or die – we develop herd immunity and covid 19 becomes like covid 13 or covid 11 (covids that weren’t as deadly).

Thus an endemic (like our flu season). It will still be transmitted, it will still infect and even kill people, but we want that number to be reasonable (like 40-80k per year in the US).

Be Safe,

William Aiken

What about those who has already gotten Covid and have natural immunity? NYS ‘s one size fits all model with loss of jobs without unemployment benefits is inflexible and cruel.

Doug Hampton

I think you enjoy arguing and you are far too often misinformed. I had COVID back in December of 2020 and was told at that time that I indeed did have antibodies. My Doctor and others from the scientific community all agree that we should not count on that as full protection as there wasn’t ample data to say for sure how long we would be safe. I got vaccinated in April and will get a booster shot soon. I will never understand this foolish opposition to these vaccines.

William Aiken

I’ve been vaccinated. I believe in the vaccine. This is about freedom of choice. I’m all for the vaccine. What I oppose are mandates that crush people into complying with the rule of the state. If a business wants to mandate vaccines that’s their right and their choice.

These mandates won’t end with Covid. It’s just opening the door to further tierney. This debate isn’t about health, it’s about controlling the lives of others. If there’s no pushback,now our liberties and freedom will be further eroded and our citizens will lose those rights forever.

Doug Hampton

Yes but you used “old news” as an example of unneeded vaccines as an example. The notion that having had COVID will give you full protection is flimsy at best. How do you feel about being around people that are unvaccinated? How would you feel if your Doctor chose not to be vaccinated? What about your kids teachers? I could go on and on. I value freedom just like you do but this is for public safety and to me that trumps personal freedoms. I have always been a team player both in sports and in life. I think we should leave politics out of this issue.

Republicans always say that government should be run like a business. Well here it is folks, government being run like a business and choosing to require its employees and subcontractors to be vaccinated. You don’t have to get vaccinated, but you also don’t have the right to more easily infect others, to threaten the health of your customers and co-workers, and to cost the business financially for your eventual absence from COVID. So you can get vaccinated or find a job somewhere else that doesn’t require vaccination.

Not that facts will sway you, since you’re blindly subscribed to those noble ideals of “personal freedoms”, and of course always on guard against the “Deep State”….
This study found that among Kentucky residents who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 in 2020, those who were unvaccinated against COVID-19 had significantly higher likelihood of reinfection during May and June 2021. This finding supports the CDC recommendation that all eligible persons be offered COVID-19 vaccination, regardless of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection status.

Reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 has been documented, but the scientific understanding of natural infection-derived immunity is still emerging (5). The duration of immunity resulting from natural infection, although not well understood, is suspected to persist for ≥90 days in most persons.** The emergence of new variants might affect the duration of infection-acquired immunity, and laboratory studies have shown that sera from previously infected persons might offer weak or inconsistent responses against several variants of concern (2,6).

Joseph Vendetti


My wife and daughters are both BSRN’s which is now required to be employed at Magnet Hospitals.

They have their Titers drawn yearly. If they are low (or below some required limit) they have to be re-vaccinated for measles or mumps or whatever their Titers show as low.

People that have naturally got Chickenpox have a robust Chickenpox Titer compared to ones just vaccinated- so because Covid is so new and research is occurring- it is possible this will occur in the future for Covid 19.

They do have to get the yearly flu vaccine to work in the hospital because that strain changes yearly. Which is sure where we are headed with Covid 19.

William Aiken

Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

This timeless quote I believe applies to the Covid Mandates. The government experts have lost credibility as Dr Fauci has held opposite positions on Covid multiple times. I don’t agree with BLM on anything, but they are correct to challenge NYC mandates that prevent them from enjoying basic services unless they comply with the state.

Reasonable people can agree to disagree whether public health trumps individual liberty. It’s a matter of values.

Doug Hampton

Again with the misinformation. Dr Fauci first changed his mind on the usage of masks because of the unawareness that many people were asymptomatic. These scientists are brilliant and are working their asses off to thwart off this virus but new findings come along all the time. They are learning as they go in some instances. Your post makes it sound as though Fauci flip flops in order to help his position. Far too cynical. Just like your other dated point about folks having had COVID were immune by some reports up to a year. As time goes by,we learn new things about this virus. It’s a work in progress and because it spreads so easily,we are all in this together. Love Ben Franklin but can’t agree at least not now.

William Aiken

Dr Fauci was recently asked by CNN’s Dr Guptay what consideration should natural immunity be given when it comes to getting the vaccine. Fauci replied “That’s something should be looked into.” His answer was shocking and completely unacceptable. What the hell has he been doing the past 18 months to give such an inept answer?

Dr Fauci has been given deity status by the media and many have blindly followed along. He appears on media outlets that give him softball interviews. Doctors that question the logic of lockdowns or suggestion other drugs to treat Covid have been ridiculed, forced to resign and banned from social media. And just from a persuasion point, calling those who question the sense of mandates as foolish is only going to have them dig deeper with their resistance.

Doug Hampton

You hear what you want to hear. Dr Faucci said that the Delta variant is somewhat a whole new ballgame and that it was too new to really know for sure. It was thought by him and many others that having had COVID will provide immunity but scientists now feel differently. Again changing science and different variants of virus. What I call an honest answer ,you call unacceptable! Good grief! I know that your side hates the mainstream media so naturally you would take this position. Finally, I don’t need any advise from you regarding persuasion, believe me I am more than fine in that area. Furthermore, I could care less whether you agree with me or not and have no expectations that you will change your mind. You basically are admitting that you are stubborn and closed minded.

William Aiken

No you missed my point. If want to encourage people to get vaccinated calling them foolish is counterproductive.

The persistent theme of “Dr Fauci has been given deity status by the media” ALWAYS comes from Trump/Republican supporters.
Let’s remember that Fauci came to public awareness this time (he’s famous for his previous successes with pandemics already) when we had a failing businessman and President heaving tons of informational garbage daily on the American public, much of being lapped up when some saw there was money to be made off the “less educated” willing to believe him.

CNN is running two nurses who apparently feel emboldened enough to accuse the Pope of being corrupt. While some like myself have deep concerns about the honesty of the Christian faith, a man who routinely washes the feet of the poor is not to be slighted. So believing Dr. Fauci is some kind of inept pseudo-doctor probably is within your reach.

The fact is Dr. Fauci graduated first in his class at Cornell Medical. Wikipedia takes it from here:
As a physician with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Fauci has served the American public health sector in various capacities for more than fifty years and has acted as an advisor to every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan. He became director of the NIAID in 1984 and made contributions to HIV/AIDS research and other immunodeficiency diseases, both as a research scientist and as the head of the NIAID. From 1983 to 2002, Fauci was one of the world’s most frequently-cited scientists across all scientific journals. In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, for his work on the AIDS relief program PEPFAR.

What we’re seeing is a profound breakdown in otherwise grown adults’ critical thinking skills. There are villains and heroes in this saga and there are many who are profoundly confused.

Doug Hampton

William you are a very selective listener. It’s interesting the items you reply to. First of all, who said anything about trying to encourage people to get vaccinated? Certainly not you, as you already said that you were vaccinated. Secondly I do understand about the freedom argument but I just flat out disagree with it. Does government make mistakes and make poor decisions. Of course, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t do good things too and in this case they are clearly on the right side of the argument. You disagree and that’s fine,you have that right
. I would say that you and others are not team players and I would never want people like that on my team. We are in this together and we need each other’s cooperation to fight this awful virus. It really just comes down to that simple premise. Glad you are vaccinated….Stay safe!

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