Editor:

Per the CDC: COVID-19 has been responsible for 250,000 deaths this year in the United States. In most cases, COVID-19 was a contributing cause for patients with existing serious medical conditions. To respond to this pandemic, governments have closed schools and non-essential businesses, issued mask mandates and stay at home orders, performed extensive testing, and required social distancing. These steps are well-intentioned but futile.

Per the CDC: Cigarette smoking is responsible for 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. To respond to this pandemic, governments have done next to nothing. They sued the tobacco companies – for money. They forced tobacco companies to add warning labels. They put visceral commercials on TV showing the many ways tobacco products can kill and disfigure you. These steps are intentionally ineffective.

Why the differences in approach? Governments seize power through fear. People aren’t afraid of smoking (most non-smokers just think it’s stupid and annoying). People do have an irrational fear of COVID-19, a fear unrelentingly stoked by the media. And our governments have seized on the opportunities to expand their powers across the U.S. and around the world.

James McCague

Punta Gorda

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