8 mins read

Truth only one of the things you won’t hear

I am so tired of lies. Since the face of our Republic is important to all of us, and the Pledge of Allegiance is part of that face, I would like to correct the statement in Carter Swenson’s letter in the Sept. 24 edition of The Island News.

No, the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democratic Convention did not leave out “Under God” – watch it for yourself on YouTube to see the very moving and participatory way in which it was recited by many of your fellow citizens of all ages, colors and beliefs. It is surprising to me that more of the incumbent’s supporters simply don’t seem to care to check his lies for themselves when they are so easily disproven, considering his by-now well-documented lying about most things for no reason other than sowing political division.

To Tim Lauridsen’s point about policing (same issue): It’s true that Joe Biden has a long political record that includes some decisions that he has said he regrets, and from which he has evolved, as has most of the country. But contrary to the incumbent, Biden’s record of public service includes helping to stabilize and reverse the Great Recession, and crafting our nation’s first attempt at providing health coverage and national standards for millions more people than ever before.

Despite repeated Republican sabotage of this new program, the Affotdable Care Act (ACA) has brought the security of health coverage to millions of American citizens, regardless of employment status or previous condition – especially important now, with high unemployment and a new “previous condition” – COVID.

The incumbent has very few notable mentions, much less successes, as he continues to align us with third-world nations and isolate us from former allies.

After four years (it seems much longer) of living in the incumbent’s creation of chaos, lies, mob cronyism and hatred in my country, of seeing our environmental protections degraded, our justice system perverted, and more than 200,000 fellow citizens dead because the incumbent is unfit to serve as President, I will happily vote for a change.

Joe Biden and his terrific Democratic team will work hard to bring us Americans to a better place. He doesn’t say he will do it alone, and he doesn’t call for a return to the past. Biden calls for all of us to join together. You will not hear that from the incumbent.

– Carol Brown, Beaufort

S.C. college leaders: Stay course on coronavirus

College and universities, which are usually the settings for large, exuberant crowds and many face-to-face gatherings, are having to do the best they can while also following best practices of wearing face coverings and social distancing in order to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

South Carolina’s colleges and universities have each done considerable work to reduce class sizes and manage foot traffic in and around our academic buildings, residence halls, dining facilities, stadiums and arenas.

We have established face covering requirements, hand-washing and sanitizing stations, deep-cleaning protocols and routines for wiping down desks and common spaces. We have communicated regularly with our university communities, including parents and families, to ensure understanding of these “new normal” behaviors.

But this is only part of the solution.

Our students are not on campus 24/7. As they navigate the towns and cities in which they reside, the close partnerships that universities and colleges have with the governor’s office, mayors’ offices and city and county councils have been critical for maintaining consistent public health protocols off campus.

As presidents representing every corner of this state, we know this is a big lift for everyone in South Carolina. We know that the many different coronavirus-related ordinances and governor’s orders require uncommon sacrifices of convenience and money.

However, if these ordinances and orders are lifted prematurely and the virus sees a resurgence in the state, the potential short-term gains of some could mean catastrophic long-term losses to others, both in lives lost and businesses closed.

We are grateful to Gov. Henry McMaster and all our elected officials at the state and local levels for adopting ordinances and passing statewide legislation over the summer to keep South Carolina on the right path.

And we call on these elected officials to hold fast to these measures. Efforts to require face coverings, regulate high-risk commercial activity and limit large gatherings where social distancing is not practical are working and are helping reduce the spread and transmission of this virus.

Our greatest fear is that if these safeguards are removed too soon, we may end up back where we were in the spring — shutting down our campuses and, by extension, jeopardizing the economic health of our cities and towns. This is something no one wants.

As of this writing, South Carolina is seeing an overall decrease in the number of actual positive cases (seven-day average) and in the percentage of positives in those tested — a trend we all want to see continue.

We’ve come this far; let’s not jeopardize our progress by relaxing protocols too soon. We all look forward to the day when we can hear each other more clearly without the muffled sounds of face coverings and gather in large groups without worrying about how many feet separate us.

Let’s stay patient and look to the day when we can truly enjoy the roar of the crowd — the sound of our collective victory.

– Al M. Panu, Chancellor at University of South Carolina Beaufort; Fred Carter, President of Francis Marion University; Bob Caslen, President of the University of South Carolina; James Clark, President of S.C. State University; Jim Clements, President of Clemson University; David Cole, President of the Medical University of South Carolina; Derham Cole, interim Chancellor of the University of South Carolina Upstate; David DeCenzo, President of Coastal Carolina University; Richard E. Cosentino, President of Lander University; Andrew Hsu, President of the College of Charleston; George Hynd, interim President of Winthrop University; Sandra J. Jordan, Chancellor at University of South Carolina Aiken

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