in Letters to Editor by

County Council right to reverse mask vote

In July, Beaufort County was awash in Coronavirus, and our community felt it. One-third of Beaufort Memorial beds were occupied with COVID-19 victims. The ICU was full of ventilated patients. And community testing results were reported in weeks, instead of crucial days necessary to limit exposure to others. 

The county and city mask ordinances passed at that time resulted in a precipitous drop in COVID-19. Cases declined steadily, the number of hospitalized patients lowered dramatically, students returned to public schools in-person or following a hybrid model, and restrictions on our way of life eased perceptibly. 

As we enter the fall and holiday seasons and as activities move indoors, we will be more vulnerable to COVID-19. Without a reliable model to test and track the virus in our community, wearing masks is crucial to its containment. There is simply too much unwitting, asymptomatic spread of the virus for us to drop our guard. 

While the Beaufort City Council, as well as the Town Councils of Port Royal and Bluffton, are to be commended for extending their community’s mandates, County Council’s hesitance to extend the countywide ordinance in the name of civil liberties was troubling. 

We have laws that prohibit driving while intoxicated, speeding on county roads and smoking in restaurants to protect the public. If we plan to keep schools open, visit with our aging parents and avoid overwhelming our local healthcare providers, we need to protect the public from this virus, too. Universal mask wearing in our community has proven vital and effective, and it is absolutely necessary to prevent another surge. 

Thankfully, County Council reversed their earlier vote. Our elected officials should not underestimate the public’s willingness to keep each other safe by complying. We understand there is simply too much at stake.

– Dr. Stephen Larson, Chairman of Emergency Medicine, Beaufort Memorial Hospital

AMIkids enjoys good year thanks to Lowcountry generosity

This has been a year like no other, in so many ways. At AMIkids Beaufort, we decided early in the spring to cancel our primary annual fundraiser, our croquet picnic at Brays Island, typically held in early May.

Despite canceling the event, we decided to continue to seek out friends of the program and past supporters to ask to help us raise money.

With the help of many people across the Lowcountry who gave so generously in uncertain times, we met our goal of raising $100,000. Thank you, thank you, thank you all!

That amount is close to what we have averaged in recent years with our croquet picnic and silent auction, minus our expenses. The money we raise locally stays with AMIkids Beaufort, helping with costs such as upgrades to the campus and our vocational program.

Our residential program serves young men from Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, Colleton, Dorchester and Berkeley counties. The S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice offers the AMIkids option to certain offenders as an alternative to prison.

AMIkids Beaufort’s campus in Dale provides not only education but numerous hands-on vocational opportunities, treatment and behavior modification. We have a nationally recognized welding program and recently launched a YouthBuild project through a federal grant to help our students learn construction skills while at AMIkids Beaufort. These combine to help the boys change from tax burdens to responsible taxpayers.

For more information or to make online donations or pledges to continue helping our local mission, visit www.amikidsbeaufort.org.

– John C. Williams, Chairman, AMIkids Beaufort Board of Trustees

I vote Republican because I have no choice

Mr. Taub’s relentless tirades against all things conservative, Republican, or worst of all, Pro Trump, are hard to tolerate. 

Climate change, Covid-19, the economy in shambles — are all Trump’s fault. Not once has Mr. Taub offered his solutions to these and other “end of the world as we know it” events.

He has blamed anyone or anything right of center. The absolute worst however is saved for Trump and his supporters. 

Here is what He does not understand. Everyone who doesn’t support Vice President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, liberal Supreme Court Justices, etc., is not a mindless robot relying on faith. Some of us are just terrified of the Democrat platform, liberal Judges making law, calls to disarm the law abiding, all while criminals continue to disobey the 10,000 local, state, and federal gun laws enacted, yet rarely enforced. 

I and others are afraid of the socialist and fascist ways that have been taught to the last few generations as preferable to capitalism. My wife are I are living the “American dream.” Just two High School grads who worked hard — real hard — and made good. No, Mr. Taub, I am not a faithful Trump supporter. I have seen what the Democrats have done when they call the shots and I am terrified what they will do next after after four years of Trump Mania. I vote Republican because I have no other choice.

– Lawrence V. Francese, Beaufort