To the Editor:

Donald Trump knew in February how dangerous and deadly coronavirus was going to be but he deliberately played down its severity. Most of us who were watching knew he was lying about the disease. But people closest to Trump, including Republican senators, knew this also. When Republican senators voted to acquit Trump on Feb. 5, they knew he’d obstructed justice and that this epidemic had already reached our shores.

Republicans senators let this happen. They never told us what they knew. A few who are talking are pointing to the president’s leadership in stopping travel from China and Europe. Nonsense. Such travel stoppages were ill-planned and executed. They were implemented without high-level planning with officials of originating countries. Thus, check-in testing at originating terminals was missing or inadequate. Massive numbers of infected travelers coughed and sneezed on the planes during ocean crossings. Upon arriving in America, most received inadequate testing or none at all. This was step-1 in how Trump handled it although he’d been informed of its nature.

Are you shocked to observe that Republican senators like Mike Rounds haven’t come forward with their perspectives? There would have been far fewer covid deaths but for Trump’s incompetence, every Republican senator who voted against his impeachment bears responsibility with Trump. They knew Trump would try to personally profit from this crisis, that he would lie about it, and that he would blame others.

Trump and every Republican senator is guilty of failing to protect all Americans, including those who elected them.

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Dave L. Wegner

Sioux Falls