Vaccine rollout is an embarrassment

My father, who is 70 years old and lives part-time in Florida, already received his first vaccine dose this past week.

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Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

My mother, Donna Fletcher, suffers from early onset dementia and is a resident at the Northbrook Inn memory care facility.  At 67 years old, she is among Northbrook Inn’s youngest residents.  When I visited her on Jan. 15, I learned that nobody from the Illinois or federal governments has contacted the facility to advise when they can expect the Covid-19 vaccine.  I have written to my mother’s state and federal representatives, but hope this letter draws attention to the horrific failure of the Illinois and federal governments to vaccinate long term care residents and spurs the authorities to action.

The federal and state rollout of this vaccine is an embarrassment to our great country.  My father, who is 70 years old and lives part-time in Florida, already received his first vaccine dose this past week.  He did what my mother cannot: stand in line to get an appointment and drive himself back to the vaccination site several days later and receive his shot.  How is it that Illinois and the federal government have ignored the most vulnerable: those who are frail, unable to help themselves, and most at risk of contracting Covid-19 because they live in communal settings? 

I know that I am not alone in feeling this way. Every resident at the Northbrook Inn and at every long-term care facility in Illinois and America loves and is loved by someone else.  It is our duty as Americans to ensure that the loved ones we are most at risk of losing are with us for as long as possible.  The technology to save their lives has arrived.  All I am asking is for our elected leaders to help get these vaccines through the front door of the building that houses those who mean so much to so many. 

Robert Schur, Northbrook 

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be 350 words or less.

Scary Bogeymen

Concerning your Jan. 18 editorial, “Private Militias: The enemy of self-government,” I have a question: of Chicago’s 769 murders in 2020, how many were attributable to private militias? Your editorial calls for special new laws to quell this nascent problem. Why didn’t you call for the same thing during last summer’s riots, led by Black Lives Matter and Antifa, which caused death and destruction right here in Chicago? Maybe your readers would be better served if you paid more attention to problems of Chicago, rather than scary bogeymen in camouflage. 

Creighton Meland, Hinsdale

Worst president

Teaching American history for over three decades, I believe that Donald Trump will go down in history as our worst president.

James Buchanan, who served from 1857 to 1861, is generally considered our worst president, consistently at or near the bottom of historical rankings. His ineptitude and his lack of moral leadership and vision before the Civil War, along with his support of the Fugitive Slave Act and the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision have been cited by historical scholars.

However, it is probable that Trump will replace Buchanan as our worst president when his performance as president is evaluated. It is impossible in a short letter to list all of Trump’s shortcomings, but his narcissism, his divisive and destructive tactics, his handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, his innumerable lies, and his failure to accept the result of Joe Biden’s election are sure to stand out. 

It is also interesting to note that while Trump has decided not to attend Biden’s inauguration, Buchanan had the grace to accompany Abraham Lincoln to the capital for his inauguration on March 4, 1861, even though he did not support him during the 1860 presidential campaign. 

Larry Vigon, Jefferson Park

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