To the editor:
I loved reading comic books. Back in the early 1950s at the age of 8 or 9, my parents would not let me have them as my Mom thought comics were just trash reading.
I was so excited when my second cousin gave me a stack of 20 to 30 comic books to take home following a visit to her house. My Mother burned them! Not because of trash reading, but the person who had them before my cousin had developed polio, and Mom was concerned I would get polio from the pages of those comics.
This was before any prevention was available for polio, and children frequently became paralyzed and died. Of course, it was later learned that polio was transmitted primarily through feces, and the comics would have been safe.
Now we have COVID-19. The past two years and more have revealed many scientific breakthroughs regarding transmission and treatment. We know it is spread through aerosol respirations. Not like droplets of saliva or nasal secretions, but exceedingly small particles that are able to travel similarly to how we smell smoke or perfumes.
The variants or mutations of the Omicron virus continue and though they seem not as deadly to persons who have received vaccines and boosters, they continue to infect persons. The latest Omicron subvariant is BA2.
Using my nursing education and public health background, you can imagine my surprise when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation for masking as a precaution was overturned on April 18 by 35-year-old U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa, Florida.
Mizelle attended law school at Covenant College and the Fredric Levin College of Law. At that time of her appointment by Donald Trump in 2020, the American Bar Association gave her a “not qualified” ranking based upon only 8 years of experience, rather than the usual expected 12.
Mizelle is a member of the Federalist Society, a group that advocates for originalist interpretations of the U.S. Constitution. She is married to the person who was Trump’s top attorney for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
This person without any knowledge of disease prevention single handedly overruled credible science.
The truly frightening prospect is that another pandemic will come. Think about the recent SARS epidemic, the avian flu, and the long-ago killer polio. The credibility of science projected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control will be gone because of politics.
American who I knew, loved and respected, where art thou?
P.S. At the time of submission of this letter on April 28, the Iowa Department of Public Health released data that 245 COVID-19 cases were reported per day during the past week.
Mary Weaver, R.N., M.S.N.