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Holt Henderson: 'I believe our leaders need to stop the lip service around vaccines'

Mick Harris' Oct. 26 letter in the Portland Tribune ("Glad football is back, but is it safe?") seems prescient in light of recent events.

President Donald Trump continues to take credit for the return of college football in swing states across the HendersonMidwest, but teams that played in the last Rose Bowl, the Wisconsin Badgers and the Oregon Ducks, have had to hit the pause button in the past seven days because of COVID-19.

Positive tests among the Oregon football team halted football operations and caused the cancellation of a planned scrimmage. An outbreak within Wisconsin's football team has prompted them to postpone their upcoming game as part of an announced seven-day pause in all football operations.

The sad thing is that this was largely to be expected in the midst of a failed federal response to COVID and an administration intent on sticking their heads in the sand in terms of this pandemic.

It does not, however, need to stay this way. I believe our leaders need to stop the lip service around vaccines. Rather, they need to buckle down with the vaccine developers to make sure a safe vaccine is developed and that an equitable distribution plan gets it to all Americans sooner rather than later.

This administration may have thought pressuring the return of college football would help score it political points, but it is now grappling with the fact that COVID in college football, just like the rising wave of positive coronavirus cases, is a stinging reminder to voters about how short this administration has fallen.

Holt Henderson, a recent graduate of Western Oregon University, is a resident of unincorporated Clackamas County near Happy Valley.


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