If we still should wear masks in crowded places, why is that not enforced on the CTA?

“I understand that the emphasis is on Chicago getting back to normal. But a variant of COVID-19 is on the rise.”

SHARE If we still should wear masks in crowded places, why is that not enforced on the CTA?

CTA riders routinely wore masks last winter, but less so now. That’s dangerous, writes a Sun-Times reader, at a time when a variant of COVID-19 “is on the rise.”

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

The Sun-Times recently ran a letter from yet another public transportation official stating that people riding the CTA are relatively safe from exposure to the coronavirus, yet that is just not the case.

As I rode the Red Line this past weekend, a maskless individual went car to car selling loose cigarettes. The weekend before that, there was a Cubs game, and the Red line was packed with people who were not wearing masks.

Look, I understand that the emphasis now is on getting Chicago back to normal. But a variant of COVID-19 is on the rise worldwide, and we have to be honest — the CTA does not enforce any kind of mask policy for riders.

How can the mayor and the city’s top health official tell us to mask up for our safety and then not enforce this rule on public transportation?

Michael Pearson, Englewood

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

Burke, Austin and term limits

What do Ald. Ed Burke and Ald. Carrie Austin have in common? Until recently, not much. But now, if the criminal charges brought against them prove to be true, I’d lump them together in the “what’s in it for me?” category.

Being an influential politician in one of the biggest cities in America, making a nice salary and enjoying the legal perks of the job weren’t enough?

Burke and Austin could be shining examples of the need for term limits for all elected position. Or we are doomed to the same fate over and over. 

Scot Sinclair Third Lake

Feds to rescue of families

American families are finally catching a break.

Starting on July 15, most families will be able to receive the new federal Child Tax Credit as a monthly payment. An extra $250 to $300 each month will be of help to all kinds of families. Working class families will be better able to pay for food, rent and other basic expenses. Middle-class families will be better able to afford childcare and save for their children’s college education.

Go to www.childtaxcredit.gov to make sure you’re getting it. And spread the word.

These changes in the CTC, brought about because of the pandemic, represent a real breakthrough for American families, potentially leading to a 50% reduction in child poverty over the next year. But the CTC changes, along with much-needed changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-wage workers, are scheduled to expire after 2021. Congress must not let that happen.

I urge Congress to make these reforms permanent, and pay for them by making the rich and corporations pay their fair share.

Greg Stawinoga, South Holland

Investigation of Jan. 6 must be less partisan

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has chosen Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, to serve on the House select committee to investigate the origins of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. She also has chosen Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney.

Schiff and Raskin led the impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump, and Cheney has been an outspoken critic of Trump. I will not question the patriotism of these three members of the House, but the select committee would have greater credibility if it were more nonpartisan.

For example, Pelosi could have invited Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Democrat from Virginia, or our own Rep. Rodney Davis, a Republican from Downstate Illinois, to serve on the committee. Both have strongly bipartisan voting records.

Our country needs greater cooperation, not further partisan division. The committee should be dedicated to the pursuit of truth and the healing of our nation. 

Peter V. Grafner, Wildwood

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