Letters to the Editor

Letters to editor: McConnell and Zika

Cut vacation to fund Zika fight

Congress’ failure to approve a Zika funding package before it went on vacation is cruel, and may lead to catastrophic consequences.

Sen. Mitch McConnell would like us to be angry at Democrats. But what he doesn’t say is that the $1.1 billion bill initially passed the Senate with overwhelming Democratic support. That was already a compromise from the $1.9 billion measure they and the White House asked for in February.

And McConnell doesn’t tell you that the bill that emerged from the Republican-dominated conference committee included “poison pill” provisions aimed at Planned Parenthood and environmental regulations.

So, yes, we are angry, but the anger is directed at McConnell and his fellow Republicans who chose to make Zika funding a hostage to right-wing partisan wishes.

Without the funding, health officials will be forced to delay development of a vaccine. And the most vulnerable, the children, who bear the brunt of Republican cynicism.

McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan can cut the long break short to pass legislation without the riders. But I fear that until a mosquito bites someone who is traveling to Kentucky, and that person gets a transmitted case in Kentucky, we will see no action.

Michael J. Grossman


McConnell up to his old tricks

Sen. Mitch McConnell’s most recent op-ed blames Democrats for congressional inaction in the fight against Zika virus.

It is true that Senate Democrats blocked recent legislation to fight this emerging disease, but they did so only after Republicans added several controversial provisions without discussion and then refused to compromise.

This action holds public health hostage to accomplish unrelated political goals. Clearly, McConnell cares more about making Democrats look bad than stopping the spread of Zika.

We’ve come to expect these types of tricks from our senior senator, who is much better at playing divisive party politics than playing for Team USA.

After all, this is the man who once declared that his goal was to make Barack Obama a single-term president, and who now continues to support Donald Trump for president, even as this buffoon repeatedly demonstrates he is unfit for office.

Are these really the actions of a responsible statesman: political extortion, obstruction and support for demagoguery?

If he ever really had any, McConnell appears to have no integrity left.

Jay Christian


Speaking in half-truths

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a revealing admission to the The Huffington Post: The Zika legislation that failed in Congress before lawmakers went on their long vacation is not “clean.”

From the New York Times: “Democrats charged that Republicans had booby-trapped the legislation by adding provisions that would restrict the role of Planned Parenthood, the women’s health organization, and similar clinics in providing contraceptive services related to fighting the Zika virus, which can be transmitted sexually.”

McConnell, tell the whole truth.

Nancy Van der Wel


At issue: Aug 2. commentary by Sen. Mitch McConnell, “Senate Democrats chose politics over funding Zika fight”