04-30-2020 Letters and Commentary

In response to coronavirus symptoms article from April 16 Dear Karl, I hope everyone at Tri-City Record is staying safe and well! Thank you for including my perspective in your recent article about local COVID-19 cases. There was one clarification that I feel important to mention: It was my primary care physician, a woman I very much trust and respect, who initially sent me to be evaluated for covid at Bronson’s Paw Paw facility. She later had me tested for any type of general infection (the only type of test she was able to offer under CDC guidelines, given the lack of available covid tests). This test came back normal, which is partially why she doesn’t believe I had covid, but likely have had another type of virus. I think covid is still very much a mystery in probably most presentations. If I did have it, I’m extremely grateful to have had such a mild – if intense – version.

Thank you, again, for being such a great community resource! Take care, Watervliet! Sharon Crotser-Toy Director, Watervliet District Library

Good to see true races for August Primary Hello Karl, I was glad to see in this week’s [April 23] Tri-City Record the listing of the candidates for the various local races in the August Primary. I was especially heartened to see that several offices in Coloma Township are true races with multiple candidates running. Choice is always good! I know that it will be an interesting election cycle. I hope the voters in Coloma follow the campaigns and turn out and decide which candidate they feel will represent them the best. Win or lose, candidates are showing more interest in local politics than it seems they have exhibited in the past. Good luck to all. Matt Moser, Coloma

National Day of Prayer Prayer is an integral part of life for people of faith throughout the world. For Catholics, like myself, to pray is to talk to God, to thank Him for our life’s blessings, to ask for help and forgiveness, and for health and safety, among other things. It is an important ritual recited throughout our lives, but especially in times of need, suffering or illness. And this year’s National Day of Prayer, on May 7, comes at a particularly relevant time for us, as so many of our families, friends, coworkers and fellow citizens battle COVID-19. The country’s first day of prayer also came during a time of national struggle. In the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln designated the day, requesting that all people unite in “the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to the solemn occasion”. Lincoln closed his proclamation with an eloquence that he was so known for: “All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.” As tough as the past two months have been for all of us, I have been heartened by the unity of our communities in their coming together to support one another. Our unsung heroes in the health care field, who are working endless hours at great personal risk to care for the infected, have been truly remarkable. Our teachers are overcoming challenges of time and distance to find new ways to connect with students. Our churches and other community leaders are collecting and distributing food and other necessities to help make sure the medically frail or unemployed do not go without. These stories, and so many more like them, are in themselves answers to prayer. What a joy that we are blessed to live in the greatest country the world has ever known, free to pray and to seek God for his wisdom and guidance. If you are a person of faith, I encourage you to join me and fellow believers as we pray for our country on May 7. As always, residents can contact my office with any state or local issues by calling (517) 373-6960 or emailing senklasata@senate.michigan.gov.

Cures 2.0: Offering hope for patients In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, my colleague Diana DeGette (D-CO) and I on Monday unveiled the next steps for our bipartisan Cures 2.0 effort that seeks to modernize how we treat the world’s deadliest diseases and deliver more life-saving cures to Michigan families and folks across the country. Cures 2.0 offers hope for patients during today’s public health crisis and for tomorrow’s challenges, while building on the many successes of our landmark 21st Century Cures legislation signed into law by President Obama in 2016. Based on the feedback we have received from nearly 500 stakeholders, we will focus our Cures 2.0 efforts on six key areas of interest to health care providers, patients, and many others. These categories include public health and pandemic preparedness, caregiver integration, patient engagement in health care decision-making, diversity in clinical trials, and both FDA and CMS modernization. While there is still much work to be done, we’re excited to get the ball rolling on this crucial legislation. We are living through one of the worst public health crises in more than 100 years, and we can’t afford to wait a second longer to develop solutions to help us protect the health and wellbeing of the American people. To learn more about important legislative issues, follow me on Twitter at @RepFredUpton or by visiting my website: upton.house.gov. You can also call my offices in Kalamazoo (269-385-0039), St. Joseph / Benton Harbor (269-982-1986), or Washington, D.C. (202-225-3761).