In a December 29 Letter to the Editor, Mr. Kelly of Crystal River lamented watching President Biden’s news conference in which the President continues to urge Americans to get vaccinated, the only real tool we have against this virus, in an effort to lead the nation out of the worst pandemic since the early 1900’s. The only way to return to normal, restore the economy, and save lives is to end the pandemic. The President is attempting to protect the economy and save lives through his leadership, not prove to be Kelly’s entertainment for the hour. One can argue the COVID-related economic policies offered by Governor DeSantis as compared to President Biden. However, Mr. Kelly gave no facts to support his analysis. According to the Institute of Economic Policy, Florida’s economy has not fared any better than other states that have followed CDC guidelines the past two years. But the statistics on infections and death rates reveal Florida as a leader, having one of the highest COVID surge rates in the nation under DeSantis’ leadership. Once again, it peaked at 47K new cases this week and a 127% increase in cases among youths under 17 years old, not to mention the already deceased 50,000 Floridians. These facts do not lend confidence in the leadership of DeSantis. Nevertheless, Kelly didn’t argue the facts separating the two leaders. His concern was with the President’s manner of speech – stuttering - which President Biden has struggled with since childhood. Biden has repeatedly said that he is not an orator and has striven to overcome this speaking handicap. Sadly, his observations of the President’s speech patterns - “stumble, fumble, scratch and cough”- say more about Mr. Kelly than they do about the President. One can only conclude that Kelly’s expression of anger with the President’s speech patterns is either Mr. Kelly lives in an uninformed bubble and doesn’t know about the President’s speech impediment. Or, two, he has no heart, lacks empathy, and can’t feel or appreciate the struggles of others. We are pleased that at least he and his wife cared about themselves enough to get vaccinated and boosted. So, congratulations, good for you both. In addition, good for the general health of all of us, as President Biden is urging.
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