Trump should accept Syrian gas horror happened on his watch

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A picture taken on April 6, 2017 shows 40-year-old Hassan Youssef, a victim of the April 4, 2017 suspected toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhun, receiving medical care in a hospital in the nearby northwestern Syrian city of Idlib. / OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP/Getty Images

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I woke up very early Wednesday morning so that I could have the quiet morning hours for writing my novel. As I waited for my coffee to be ready, I took a peek at my Sun-Times. I was drawn to the article about this current administration blaming the attack on Syria’s civilians of sarin gas on former President Barack Obama.

“No,” I thought. This is on Trump, it’s his administration and happened on his watch. This bait-and-switch maneuver by Trump is making the world more dangerous with his phony bellicosity.

Melanie Lee, Lake View

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Close local races

Tuesday’s results show the power of a few votes in a small, tight, race. On Wednesday, Neil Steinberg was correct about gerrymandered national and state elections and the pathetic apathy in some local ones. Evanston is not so much one of those:

In the run-off for mayor, 159 votes separated the two, out of 17,329. That’s less than 1 percent of a 35 percent turnout. One alderman was re-elected with a margin of about 1 percent, just 15 votes.

John McClelland, Evanston

A problem with a solution

I was surprised and truly disturbed to learn that one and a half million children die each year from diseases that could have been prevented by a vaccine. This is because, shockingly, one in five children in the world still lacks access to the basic childhood vaccines we take for granted here in the United States. As a mom, my heart hurts for both these children and their parents.

I am also, however, both heartened and hopeful because this is a problem with a solution.

Great strides have been made over the last decade to give more families access to immunizations for their children. The measles vaccine alone has prevented an estimated 20.3 million deaths from 2000-2015, a 79% reduction! We cannot stop now and lose the significant gains we’ve made.

In addition to the moral and humanitarian impact, giving children around the world access to immunizations increases global and national security. And on a personal level, it protects the several children whom I love in our community who are immune compromised because they cannot receive vaccines, be it due to chemotherapy or organ transplant or other health reason. In today’s interconnected world, deadly communicable diseases don’t stop at borders, as demonstrated by recent measles outbreaks and Ebola cases in the U.S.

IImmunizations are also a financially sound investment; every $1 invested in vaccination efforts saves $16 in averted healthcare costs. Adding on the averted costs of lost productivity due to illness, the financial return rises higher.

The United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign is asking U.S. legislators to help reduce vaccine-preventable childhood deaths by providing adequate funding for global vaccine programs. Call the offices of Senator Duckworth and Senator Durbin and your representative and ask them to strengthen and prioritize funding for global vaccine programs through partners such as the United Nations, Gavi (the Vaccine Alliance), CDC, and USAID.

We all have a stake in the outcome.

Shannan Younger, Naperville

Blame game

Gov. Bruce Rauner sounds so familiar — typical Republican he points fingers and blames Democrats for his own faulty actions. Rauner blames Madigan for “stopgap budget” while he still stalls on creating a balanced budget. It’s ludicrous how Republicans accuse others of what they are guilty of.

Rauner is still stuck on his “Wreck IL agenda” that undermines unions and his demand for lowering wages, while he overpays his minions. His term in office has been a total failure. Gov. Gridlock stop campaigning, and do your job!

Ann Gutierrez, Tinley Park

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