Leaders are not modeling well

Tuesday’s newspaper included a front-page photo of Rep. Kay Granger at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth. (“Granger: Fort Worth base will be home to F-35 fighters”) In the picture, she is with two military personnel who are wearing facemasks, but she is not. President Joe Biden signed an executive order requiring anyone on federal property or in federal buildings to wear a mask. Why was Granger allowed to not do so?

Biden was shown without a mask on television during the inauguration celebration the night of Jan. 20 at the Lincoln Memorial. He has since been seen in other federal buildings without one. Biden has said we should lead not by showing examples of our power but the power of our example.

He and Granger are showing the rule is “Do as I say but not as I do.”

– George O’Bar, Flower Mound

Other conclusions on Medicaid

The Jan. 24 guest column about the cost of Texas Medicaid expansion manipulated data to argue against it, combining federal and state funding while describing only state budget spending. (5B, “Expanding Medicaid will save Texas money? That’s not what other states have seen”)

Numerous studies, including a recent one from Texas 2036, demonstrate that expanding Medicaid would not significantly increase costs for Texas. Analyses by the Episcopal Health Foundation also find that Medicaid expansion would save Texas money and increase the funding Texas receives from the federal government.

Texas already has the highest rate of uninsured residents because state policy fails to provide health care for low-wage Texans whose employers don’t provide insurance. Since the pandemic began, even more Texans have lost coverage.

Now is the time to help our fellow Texans. We cannot afford to leave Texans without health care because of political divides and false claims.

– Patrick Bresette, Austin

The writer is executive director of the Children’s Defense Fund-Texas.

Abbott looking back on energy

Story continues

Gov. Greg Abbott is railing against the Biden administration’s clean energy plan and continues to back Big Oil with his executive order to protect against federal overreach. Texas is No. 1 in wind power, a rising star in solar power and the new home of Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas. It appears that the state is trending away from oil. Why is Abbott living in the past?

– J.W. Sullivan, Arlington

Fort Worth, look to the east

Tarrant County is now surpassing a significantly more populous Dallas in the rate of new coronavirus cases and the number of deaths.

Dallas’ leadership acknowledged the seriousness of the disease early and followed the science on prevention, frequently making public service announcements to wear masks and distance. It enforced ordinances much more stringently.

Democratic leadership in Dallas is saving lives. Republican leadership in Tarrant fails to enforce masking and distancing and encourages large gatherings.

– C.L. Clark, Fort Worth

Learn from Europe’s schools

I’ve learned one crucial lesson about COVID-19: Our knowledge about it changes daily. When opinion writers cite “definitive evidence” from scientific sources that are weeks or months old, we must be cautious. Such is the case with the adamant call to send all kids back to school.

Europe was held up as a model for schools opening safely, but in the grip of rapid spread and mutation of the virus, countries there are now closing schools. They have found that schools are mirroring community trends of infection.

We all know how important school is. Unfortunately, curbing the virus must happen first.

– Beth Llewellyn McLaughlin, Fort Worth

In and out and got my shot

I want to commend the Arlington Fire Department and the Arlington Police Department for the well-organized vaccination setup at the Arlington Convention Center. I went for my second shot Jan. 25 and was in and out in less than 30 minutes.

This was quite a contrast from my first shot at the convention center Dec. 30. Many other seniors and I stood outside in the cold, windy and damp weather for an hour and a half. Once inside, I had to stand in two other lines for another 30 minutes.

So, thank you, firefighters and police officers, for the much-improved setup.

– Jannette Workman, Arlington

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