Eric Stanley’s writing is clear, and his arithmetic seems correct, but his June 22 Community Voices starts from a false premise that makes the headline “You can't compare apples to oranges to make a point” rather ironic. He points out that the projection of cases Gov. Gavin Newsom made in mid-March did not come to pass. If you search on Google “Newsom COVID projection clarified,” you’ll find many newspapers reporting the same day that Newsom sent the letter to President Donald Trump that a spokesperson for the governor later clarified the projection included zero mitigation efforts.

In other words, Brik McDill’s column ("COMMUNITY VOICES: Be ready for what's to come," June 17) that was criticized had it right. You can’t fault the projections of what would happen without a lockdown by looking at the results when we did have a lockdown.

Even places that had lockdowns but started later have done worse than California. Out of about 41 million citizens, we’ve had, as of Monday, about 5,556 deaths, a rate of about 14 individuals per 100,000. The UK, with 66 million citizens, started its lockdown weeks after California did, and its rate of COVID-19 deaths at this point is 64 individuals per 100,000. If we had the same rate as the UK, we could have an additional 21,000 dead, who might have been someone you love, or even you.

Jay C. Smith, Bakersfield

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