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Opinion | Thank You, Dr. Fauci

Read more at www.nytimes.com

To the Editor:

Fauci on What Working for Trump Was Really Like” (Q. and A., Jan. 25) paints a vivid picture of a consummate scientific professional up against a boss with a crass disregard for truth and reason.

I often watched Dr. Anthony Fauci and wished that his message were more positive, but I trusted the message, while I never at any time believed anything President Donald Trump spun about turning corners or unproven miracle cures. One man exuded integrity and calm, the other willful dishonesty and a focus on maintaining his own political power.

Yes, Dr. Fauci could have been more forceful in countering Mr. Trump’s lies. But that might have gotten him fired and replaced with a Trump loyalist on puppet strings. Instead, against great pressure, he steadfastly served the country as a professional. All Americans should be grateful to him and for the facts about this pandemic he quietly delivered.

Susan Wunder
Oberwil, Switzerland

To the Editor:

Anthony Fauci is a shining example of patriotism, civility and courage under pressure. And no, Dr. Fauci, even jokingly, you were never “the skunk at the picnic”; you were the rose at the skunk convention.

Mary-Ellen Banashek
New York

To the Editor:

Re “Trump Emoluments Cases Are Dismissed as Moot” (news article, Jan. 26):

If a president can violate the emoluments clause by profiting from his businesses, then use tactics to delay a final judicial ruling until out of office, what use is the emoluments clause?

Charles Merrill
New York

To the Editor:

Re “Parents Fret as Screen Time Stretches to Months” (front page, Jan. 17):

You are wise to call attention to the other looming public health crisis: a generation of children who have been confined to their devices for 10 months and rely on screens for stimulation.

But the problem is not just withdrawal. If we’re going to address this issue seriously, let’s call it what it is — addiction, as the experts mentioned did — and commit to finding a long-term solution.

Lesson from the opioid crisis: Prevention is cheaper than the cure. We need to scale up behavioral health policies now and mold children’s precious “plastic” brains to other reward pathways, unless we want them vulnerable to worse addictions later.

A national campaign may be unrealistic, but surely we can take action at the local level. The risks to New York City’s 1.1 million public-school children are multiplying. Can’t the city muster a few psychologists, curriculum designers and project managers to create a direct intervention? Here’s one teacher throwing her hat in the ring.

Nora Riesenberg
New York

To the Editor:

The first and foremost thing that comes to my mind is, How about picking up a book and reading it, as an alternative to screen time?

It is very disturbing to think that this generation is obsessed with Xbox and the phone. I find this very sad, especially because there are so many wonderful books to be explored.

The responsibility lies with the parents, and the fact that some are ignoring this is also very sad.

Alissa Fox
Flemington, N.J.

To the Editor:

Many Lack Access to Pads and Tampons. What Are Lawmakers Doing About It?” (In Her Words, nytimes.com, Jan. 13) describes new policy efforts to reduce the cost of sanitary products for women and girls, an important initiative from both a rights and health perspective. But the idea that lack of access to these products leads girls to miss school isn’t borne out by research.

My colleagues and I recently completed a systematic review in low- and middle-income countries, and found very little quality evidence to support that assertion. In the United States, much of the focus on this issue has similarly been driven by advocates rather than by evidence.

There is, however, very strong evidence that challenges like food insecurity and poverty lead many girls (and boys) to miss school. Using evidence to inform policies is more important now than ever, even when the evidence does not align with our intuition.

Stephanie Psaki
New York
The writer is a researcher focusing on girls’ global education at the Population Council.

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