Maybe Donald Trump hasn’t shot anyone on 5th Avenue, but he bears some responsibility for the increasing death toll in Puerto Rico. Because some mountain towns do not yet have a reliable supply of safe drinking water, they are collecting water from springs and streams that may be contaminated. There are now confirmed deaths from a treatable, water-borne bacterial infection called leptospirosis because we have not supplied these people with one of the absolute necessities of life. This is a stain on American history.

Michael Hart, West Ridge

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Stop playing ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ at NFL games

Much, too much, has been written and said about proper deportment at NFL games during the flag/anthem opening ceremonies. The easiest and quickest way to end the debate about the on-field protests and move that debate to more appropriate forums is to end these unnecessary ceremonies.

We do not raise the flag or sing the national anthem at other equally or more important events. Do such ceremonies precede a presidential debate, the reading of Supreme Court decisions, the opening of the opera, the dedication of a new cancer research facility? Why, then, are these ceremonies necessary or even appropriate at football games?

Then, too, the constant repetition of these ceremonies at sporting events tends to trivialize the customs. Familiarity, in this case, may not breed contempt, but it certainly can and does produce indifference.

The icing on the cake is that now those customs have become a lightening rod for protests. The issues raised by the protests deserve proper attention and full discussion, but the beginning of a football game is hardly the place and time for such.

William P. Gottschalk, Lake Forest

Player protests are ‘stunts’

Every week we watch these football players pull their “stunt” while our military holds our flag, so I for one am glad that someone can respond to these bullies. Thank you, Vice President Pence.

Diane Kelly, Crystal Lake

To satisfy base, Trump harms Americans

Every decent American should take seriously Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman’s charge that Trump’s actions to delay aid to Puerto Rico and degrade Obamacare administratively will kill thousands needlessly. It appears motivated by an infantile response to failing to overturn Obamacare in Congress and ignoring non-white Puerto Ricans to placate his racist, xenophobic base. It’s inappropriate to even call it Trump’s watch. It’s a death watch.

Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn