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Federal leadership no help
during COVID-19 pandemic
BY MARK ANTHONY
In our pandemic spring, public
schools closed for instruction,
but school buildings remained
open to serve hungry kids, fi rst
responders and essential workers
who needed support as they
continued to go to work even as
much of the city shut down. So,
my entire community relied on my work as a school cleaner
to keep the building sanitized and safe. Th en the virus
I got sick, as did my wife. My dad got sick too, and so did
my grandmother, and I lost both to the disease.
Since recovering from COVID-19, I’ve shown up for work
every day. Th e schools cannot function without people like
me who meticulously clean and sanitize every doorknob,
desk, toilet and all high-touch surfaces. I don’t think it’s an
exaggeration to say that my work can make the diff erence
between life and death. By ensuring school buildings are
safe, I eliminate some suff ering.
But the commander-in-chief doesn’t want to end the suffering.
I had hoped Trump’s COVID diagnosis would help
him understand the uncertainty and fear that millions of
Americans face every single day. One thing is for certain,
and it’s that we cannot have Trump serve another term if we
want to survive this pandemic.
I’ve channeled my outrage into campaigning for Joe Biden
and Kamala Harris, because I want leaders who care about
the lives of workers, who believe in science and who will
take action to expand health coverage so people can actually
take care when they’re sick.
I personally cannot live with the possibility of a second
Trump administration. My wife and I are expecting our
fi rst child at year’s end. And I lay awake at night wondering
what kind of world I want to bring her into. I want it to be
one where Trump doesn’t determine so much of our lives.
As a member of a union of essential workers, I’ve experienced
how the consequences of decisions by federal leadership
trickle down to working people. Trump was able to get
top-notch care at no cost to himself as soon as he was diagnosed,
unlike more than 215,000 Americans, including 138
of my union sisters and brothers who died from COVID-19.
My father and grandmother contracted the virus at a time
when masks, PPE and hand sanitizer were scarce, a deadly
side eff ect of the utter incompetence from the Trump
administration. Th ey died in hospitals completely overwhelmed
by the pandemic made infi nitely worse by the
administration’s outright refusal to provide any meaningful
Biden and Harris have a plan for a comprehensive
approach to controlling the virus that focuses on testing,
PPE and nationwide standards to reopen safely so kids can
get back to school and the economy can get back on track.
As the president uses his taxpayer-funded government
healthcare for life-saving treatment, he and Republicans
actively work to throw millions of Americans off their healthcare
by destroying the Aff ordable Care Act. Th ere is a tragic
irony to the fact that the Rose Garden super spreader event
that led to this wave of Republican infection was to nominate
a Supreme Court justice whose fi rst order of business will be
to take away health care for millions.
Everyone should have access to quality care, especially
now. Biden gets it, and he’ll work hard to stop the spread.
Th e coming birth of our little girl Annalise is the one
thing keeping me motivated during these diffi cult times. I
want to welcome her to a country where Biden and Harris
are in place to not just to clean up the mess that Trump created,
but to build a better future.
Mark Anthony Espinoza is a school cleaner at a New York
City public school in Queens.
WAITING FOR COVID
19 TEST RESULTS
Twelve days have passed since I
took a COVID-19 test, something
I’ve been told is important to prevent
the spread of the virus.
It was free of charge, courtesy of
New York City, with a testing company
given the contract to do the
tests and then give the results. I
fi nd it sad that I have been waiting
this long and have not gotten the
results back. Is the city getting its
money’s worth, with this company?
I think not, because I could be contagious
throughout this period and
not even know it.
Of course, I do what is right
and wear a mask outdoors, practice
social distancing, wash my hands
oft en and am concerned when my
fellow residents don’t do any of
that. Given all of it, I probably was
not contagious during this 12-day
period, but how would I know?
Th e testing company indicated, on
a card I was given, that “results may
not be available on the patient portal
for up to 5-7 days.” Talk about
timely results! I am still waiting.
While I am waiting, Governor
Cuomo has redefi ned the “hot
spots” he previously delineated
with three zones. Now, they are
street-by-street, indicating where
they are according to, well, what?
I fi nd this method, of showing
where the positive results are, to
be as helpful as his zone indicators.
What’s next, I wonder? House
by house? Why not do something
sensible, such as a public service
blitz in the neighborhoods aff ected?
Th at would be productive.
Let’s take the media campaign
that we had to organize the protests
against the community jail in Kew
Gardens. Th at worked. It brought
people out to protest it, time and
time again. We were notifi ed of
where to go and when.
Why not give out leafl ets with a
person connected to a respirator
or a row of graves, indicating what
happens when you don’t do what is
right for you and your neighbors?
My COVID-19 test only made my
SM Sobelsohn, Kew Gardens
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
Th is presidential election is very
important and all of our lives
depend on the right person getting
elected. Whether it be be Biden or
Trump, one of them will shape our
country for the next four years.
I will not tell you who to vote for;
that is a decision we all must make
on our own.
Th is year, we have many ways
to vote, from mail-in voting, early
voting and traditional voting on
While many of us will vote in
this election, we need to ensure that
everyone heads to the polls. Th ere
are many issues out there, such as
the education of our children, taxes,
crime, the coronavirus, war, the cost
of housing — the list goes on and on.
Added to that is the need for
better protection for our seniors,
who have too oft en been victims
of crime. We also have the issue of
Social Security and Medicare.
I feel it is our civic duty to show
up and vote and if we don’t, then
we cannot complain if the “wrong”
person gets elected.
We live in a free country and with
that comes a great responsibility to
be involved in our community —
that means voting on issues that
have an impact on us all.
Our freedoms are what have
made America great and by voting,
we are stepping up to the plate so
that we don’t lose what most of us
hold most dear.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Bellerose
TRUMP IS IN TROUBLE,
WIN OR LOSE
Regardless of the election results,
the presidency of Donald Trump
will be over by the spring of 2021
if the Democrats gain control of
Trump was impeached for soliciting
aid from Ukraine to debase
Joe Biden. He was saved by a
Republican-dominated Senate. He
would stand no such fortune in
the hands of a Senate controlled by
Assuming Trump remains in
offi ce either by winning the election
or by way of a complying
Attorney General Barr, he will be
subject to continuing claims of violating
his oath of offi ce.
An active House might simply
impeach him for violating
the emolument clause of the
Constitution. On July 25 of this
year, a U.S. District Court Judge
permitted a suit to continue claiming
such a violation.
Another threat is the New York
District Attorney pursuing Trump
for possible banking frauds.
It is questionable that Trump and
his inner circle are not aware of
the danger confronting him, win
Trump has, for four years, played
to his base that at times seems cultish.
Why Trump never sought to
widen his base support that would
have protected him from the pending
catastrophes he and his family
are exposed to will remain a question
that will cause debate by historians
for years to come.
Ed Horn, Baldwin