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COVID-19 brings out America’s real-life heroes

As a physician, I have heard this phrase multiple times: “Medicine is a calling.” Today I fully understand its meaning.

Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America
An ambulance driver pauses outside New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, which has seen an upsurge of coronavirus patients this week.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

We are in the middle of an intense battle, the likes of which we have not seen before. And who has been on the front line?

In the United States, it is the 33-year-old ophthalmologist who died two months ago, the 67-year-old primary care physician who died two weeks ago, the 29-year-old-cardiologist who died last week.

All were felled by COVID-19.

As a physician, I have heard this phrase multiple times: “Medicine is a calling.” Today I fully understand its meaning when I see young residents working in intensive care units and physicians of all different specialties joining the crews who lead the care. They are working through a shortage of material, a loss of friends, sickness in their families, and their own fatigue and hunger.

They are real-life heroes. Superman just copied them!

Mahboobeh Mahdavinia MD.,PhD.
Rush University Medical Center, Chicago

Trump’s politicized COVID-19 briefings

I’m surprised President Trump hasn’t appeared at a press briefings with his arm in a sling, injured by all that patting himself on the back. He’s been treating these daily coronavirus updates like nothing more than campaign stops, and he’s been doing our country a great disservice.

At the very least, Trump owes an anxious public total honesty, not wish-fulfillment. The same goes for Dr. Anthony Fauci and his cadre of infectious disease experts. If they are intimidated by their boss, the likelihood of them expressing an unbiased opinion is almost as random as the virus itself.

Wednesday was April Fools Day, but that doesn’t mean the joke has to be on all of us. We’re only looking for real leadership in this time of crisis.

Bob Ory, Elgin

Approve crude oil pipeline project

In the first week of March, the Illinois Commerce Commission held a hearing to consider a proposal to increase the capacity of the Dakota Access Pipeline, known as DAPL. I attended the hearing as a representative of thousands of Illinois union members who rely on projects like DAPL Optimization to build long-term construction careers.

I urge the ICC to approve the project sooner rather than later, as projects like this help boost local economies. In the uncertain times we are facing, privately funded, shovel-ready jobs like those created by DAPL Optimization will be instrumental in moving Illinois and the Midwest forward.

The DAPL Optimization project would increase the capacity of the crude oil pipeline without new pipeline construction by adding a new pump station in Patoka, Illinois — a Midwest energy hub.

Given the uncertainty of employment opportunities, DAPL Optimization is all the more important for Illinois and us. This project would create shovel-ready jobs for Illinois’ skilled unions and help generate tax revenues for our local communities. The ICC’s approval will give us all confidence in the future.

The ICC hasn’t yet made a decision on the project, but my union brothers and sisters would agree that DAPL Optimization offers a ton of simple solutions, including:

  • Meeting Midwest energy demands by increasing crude oil delivery
  • Creating jobs for Illinois’ hardworking unions members
  • Generating new tax revenues for communities

DAPL Optimization could boost Illinois’ economy at a time when that is most needed. North Dakota and South Dakota already have done their part by approving the project. Unions statewide are counting on DAPL Optimization.

Paul Flynn
Business Manager
IBEW Local 34