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Gladstone resident: Tootie Smith, other uninformed people who spout nonsense are roadblocks to putting virus behind us.

I watched in horror as Clackamas County Chair Tootie Smith, at the beginning of the Aug. 12 commission meeting, read her "personal" statement. She completely shirked her responsibility in demeaning both mask and vaccination mandates. PHOTO COURTESY: KOIN 6 NEWS - Encouraged by the top elected leader in Clackamas County, hundreds of unmasked people packed the Aug. 12 commission meeting to protest the governor's latest indoor mask mandate.

She stated that "vaccine and mask mandates are wrong and fail to improve public health." She could not be more wrong. Statistics, just released, show that the low vaccination rate in Josephine County, responsible for a gigantic leap (in cases) versus other counties, clearly illustrate the fallacy in her statement. Both vaccines and masks are the only tool in the public health arsenal to combat this disease.

Any parent knows that their child, prior to attending school, must provide proof of vaccinations. Those policies are in place to protect all of our children from preventable childhood diseases.

Tootie Smith's thoughts about government overreach are adolescent in nature and not befitting a reasoned adult. If licensed, you have the privilege to drive a car, but you must wear a seat belt because they save lives. You can consume alcohol, but you cannot drive while impaired, because it has been proven that drunk driving kills. You have the right to own firearms, but it's illegal to discharge them in most Oregon communities without legal purpose. Her statement about the governor increasing "the hospital capacity with the money given to our state by the federal government" is ludicrous on its face. She of all people should know this would require months if not years to add on to, or build new hospital capacity.

Chair Smith and the other uninformed people who spout nonsense and refuse avail themselves of either masks or vaccines are roadblocks to putting this virus behind us once and for all. As Alabama's governor noted, "it's time to blame the unvaccinated."

Patrick Smith is a resident of Gladstone.


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