Readers on Melania Trump, Elizabeth Warren and climate change


Readers on Melania Trump, Elizabeth Warren and climate change

Letter to the editor:

If there ever was a vilified first lady, it would surely be Melania Trump. No matter what she says, does or wears — it is wrong. Almost all of those against President Donald Trump are against Melania. And no doubt, women love to hate Melania for her stunning looks. 

While Melania may be ill-informed about foreign cultures, I seriously doubt that she would intentionally say or wear anything to offend anyone — as she was accused of doing during her trip to Africa, where she wore a pith helmet during safari in Kenya. 

It can’t be easy being in the public eye. Nor can it be easy living with, arguably, the most critical man in the world. But if you ask me, Melania is “getting it” from all sides — the public, the news media and probably her family. 

Even though Melania may have no monetary concerns, I can’t help wondering if she truly is happy.

JoAnn Lee Frank; Clearwater, Fla.

Elizabeth Warren’s heritage convenience

Letter to the editor:

Who can legally claim to be a Native American? The Census Bureau defines American Indians as “people having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment.” This held true during the 2010 Census administered by President Barack Obama. Other government agencies, including the Department of Justice, similarly stipulate that those claiming American Indian heritage must have “tribal affiliation or community attachment.”

Related: Elizabeth Warren's 'part' Cherokee claim is a joke, and a racist insult to Natives like me

Even if Sen. Elizabeth Warren,, D-Mass., wasn’t legally a tribal member, at the very least her care, compassion and community attachment should have manifested itself through her mentoring of native students or volunteer service. Unfortunately, she never bothered. Shelly Lowe, the executive director of Harvard University’s Native American Program, has said that Warren did not participate in events while Warren taught at Harvard.

As a legal scholar and law professor she certainly knew better, yet Warren made this spurious ancestral claim for years to help her climb the academic and professional ladder. 

Dave Raymond; Woodbridge, Va.

We can’t wait to act on climate change

Letter to the editor:

I couldn’t agree more with the need and ability for individuals to take the actions to do their part to combat climate change. I would add that rather than talking about adding a price on carbon emissions (i.e. a tax) we should discuss “shifting” our tax system away from taxing our incomes and more towards taxing negative environmental behavior. Citizens could, therefore, pay the same or less taxes depending on their willingness to adapt to what is necessary.

Our view: Global warming, Hurricane Michael and what you can do

Bjorn Lomborg, in his opposing view “Don’t panic; focus on green energy R&D,” once again fails to recognize that timing is everything in complex ecosystems. It could be theoretically cheaper for future, wealthier generations to pay for climate mitigation. But what future wealth can we expect when oceans are acidified, fisheries and other marine life collapse, agriculture is highly disrupted and impaired, and major coastal populations need to be protected or relocated? All the money in the world won’t return us to normal.

Steven Borncamp; Pasadena, Calif.

Letter to the editor:

Lomborg perpetuates a tired myth that the world must choose between development and poverty eradication on one hand, and climate action on the other. Unchecked climate change will likely be the biggest threat to poverty eradication, worsening the health and well-being of millions of people in the next decades. It won’t be possible to simply adapt our way out of extreme heat waves, food and water scarcity, increased flooding and more intense storms.

Talker: Why are we politicizing hurricanes, the environment?

The public health benefits of transitioning away from fossil fuels are immense, especially in developing countries. More and more, renewable energy and off-grid technologies are proving to be winning options as their costs continue to plunge.

With climate change already unfolding around us, delaying action would leave our children in a dangerously altered and impoverished world.

Rachel Cleetus, policy director of Union of Concerned Scientists; Arlington, Mass.

On mental health coverage

Letter to the editor:

Mental health is essential to good overall health. It is a priority for millions of Americans — and for health insurance providers.

Let me be clear: We do not discriminate; contrary to Patrick J. Kennedy’s column “Insurance system still discriminates against mental illness.” We cover benefits that help Americans every day, so they get the care they need when they need it. We’re committed to expanding access and improving mental health care for patients. Innovative approaches to improving access include, for example, coaching, case management, telehealth, and embedding behavioral health care clinicians in primary care doctors’ offices.

Related: Insurance system still discriminates against mental illness. Time to fight back.

We celebrate the progress we’ve made together over the past 10 years with mental health parity. But we can all do more. There is a well-documented national shortage of mental health specialists — and assessing the quality of mental health care through third-party accreditation using evidence-based standards is still developing. Policy solutions to bridge these gaps will result in more progress toward whole person care.

Patients need comprehensive, integrated mental health care. We remain committed to working with doctors, policymakers and stakeholders on solutions to improve mental health in America. 

Matt Eyles, president & CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans; Washington, D.C.

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