Readers React: Are the reopen protests about free speech or presidential politics? – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Posted: May 6, 2020 at 6:42 am

Re New Mexico takes more drastic measures against virus hotspot (May 2): On the same day people protested in San Diego, the governor of New Mexico had to declare an emergency, blocking roads into the city of Gallup as the virus surged overwhelmingly its hospitals. Gallup now has 14 times the number of COVID-19 cases than New Mexicos largest cities.

I pray the actions of San Diego protesters did not endanger themselves and others by unknowingly spreading the virus to participants and those they come in contact with.

We need less protest and more common sense. Lets not make Americas finest city the next Gallup.

Robert Tormey


President Donald Trump has stated that he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Ironically, he gave the highest award a citizen can get to a radio broadcaster who incites hatred. We do have freedom of speech, but when is someone who encourages hate deserving of receiving a presidential medal at a State of the Union Address?

As a moderate, I respect the conservative perspective, but shouldnt we be encouraging cooperation between liberals and conservatives to reach a balance?

If Trump wants to receive a Nobel Peace Prize, maybe he should not encourage his supporters to demonstrate during this pandemic. He claims to be a wartime president, yet he hasnt procured sufficient ammunition. Shouldnt our pro-life president prioritize life with tests, swabs and personal protective equipment for all? That may help him get his prize.

Jo Powers

North Clairemont

Opinion resources

The U-T welcomes and encourages community dialogue on important public matters.

News reports on the protests against stay-at-home orders have mentioned that there are sizable numbers of Trump supporters in the groups. They need to redirect their protests toward the White House.

Epidemiologists have consistently said that a large increase in testing, along with contact tracing, is essential to lifting our isolation. Trump has refused to use the Defense Production Act to increase testing supplies and shown no understanding that doing so would aid in getting businesses open again.

These protests are doubly counter-productive. They increase the possibility of creating more cases while doing nothing to get the government to assist in meeting its own guidelines for opening up.

Susan Schock

Mira Mesa

Re San Diego should reopen to the young and healthy, and focus more on those at risk for coronavirus (April 24): Chris Brewsters analysis of how to re-open things and simultaneously help solve the pandemic problem is an important idea. Many people dont know Brewsters background and accomplishments, but the important thing isnt who wrote that opinion. Whats important is what was said, the analysis, and the ideas.

The numbers and facts appear to be correct, and they lead to his conclusions and suggestions. They are a little radical compared to what our leaders are discussing, but it appears that they would do a better job at both achieving herd immunity and getting the economy going again. I hope many of our leaders read this analysis, dig into the ideas, and consider them carefully.

Laury Flora

Valley Center

Chris Brewsters opinion piece belonged under letters to the editor, not next to Fleischers.

Paul Jester


Some who protest the measures put in place to combat COVID-19 see these measures as violations of their Constitutional rights and an instance of Big Government intruding in their lives. Some show up at rallies inexplicably armed to the teeth. Some even harass medical workers battling the virus.

I can only assume, then, that none of these folks will cash their $1200 bail-out checks from the government and will also assert their rights as individuals to care for themselves if they or their families contract COVID-19.

Rick KeenanSan Carlos

If the current approach to disease management - to sharply curtail economic activity - continues, it will cost roughly $500 billion per month in lost income nationwide (that is, about 30 percent of monthly GDP). That is catastrophic, of course, not only to those who are hit hardest (net of stimulus checks and rent holidays), but to future generations who are being saddled with unprecedented debt.

The bottom line is: we just cannot afford to keep doing what we are doing. The hard truth is that we are just going to have to learn how to live with this. We must not rush into a complete reopening (because, lets be clear, that is the same as doing nothing at all), but we must have a clear, and clearly communicated, plan, a path forward, that all can see and buy into and understand. There are trade offs here, just as there are when we decide to drive a car, fly in a plane, eat unhealthy foods, smoke, ride a bike, and in general live our lives. Lets get on with it.

Don Billings

Rancho Santa Fe

Huge headlines about protests and yet the article states 90 percent of the people support the stay-at-home measures. Why do you give credence and publicity to these few.

Yes, an article about them but 2-inch headlines? The media helped get Trump elected for doing this very thing, focusing on the drama instead of the real issues. You are better than this.

Joan Camana

La Mesa

As I look at the picture of the protesters, completely understanding where theyre coming from, I cant help thinking about the risks theyre putting on their children and grandparents (Not many masks in that crowd!).

It profusely reminds us of the genuine heroes who unselfishly risk their lives daily:

The nurses and doctors working in impossible conditions. Twelve hour shifts, the daily disinfecting nightmare, over-nighting in garages, hotel rooms, and cars so as not to infect their families (No hugs allowed!).

The grocery workers, the bus drivers, the police officers, the farm workers, all valiantly performing their obligations while trying to protect their families.

We owe them more than our thanks.

Steve Blumenschein


During this pandemic, I feel privileged to have a stable retirement income and a nice house. In my career as a social worker, I was exposed to people with much less privilege, many of whom probably did not get their nails and eyebrows done or go to a gym, rarely ate out except for fast food, and probably rarely got to go to the beach.

Instead of protesting for the right to go to the beach, wouldnt it be better to be protesting about the inadequate federal response to this crisis for the working people who have not received promised income relief and loans to keep their small businesses going?

Wouldnt it be nice to look back on our own behavior and be grateful that we behaved with grace and patience, that we showed compassion for the least fortunate, and that we were willing to sacrifice for the greater good?

Tom Packard


Readers React: Are the reopen protests about free speech or presidential politics? - The San Diego Union-Tribune

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