When I was a Republican (now an Independent), I believed the party was led by honest, ethical, caring leaders, especially in the White House who served the nation with intelligence and competency. That is, until now.

After the last nine months we face 25 million unemployed, 6 million infected with COVID-19, 200,000 dead from the virus, 1,000 dying daily, thousands of businesses closing and uncertainty about child safety in schools.

Mishandled responses and recommendations ignored by this president have intensified negative virus impacts.

His approaches have been to inject bleach, ignore masks, bypass science and health experts who do not agree with him, test less and push potentially dangerous school openings.

Trump criticizes mail-in ballots, claiming, without evidence, there will be massive fraud. And he recently urged people to vote twice to test the system. I am not an attorney. It is illegal to vote twice.

News stories, confirmed even by FOX News staff, indicate that Trump reportedly said on occasion that those who served in the military and even died were “losers” and “suckers.”

I served in the military, as did my son, father, brother, father-in-law, his sons, grandsons, brothers-in-law and cousins as well, often finding themselves in dangerous situations like Iraq and Vietnam. Apparently, we are a family of losers and suckers.

Now he says that early on to avoid panic he downplayed the seriousness of the virus, admitting he knew the dangers. How hard would it have been to tell the truth to the American people who would have honestly faced it and responded well?

Larry Pickett, Bakersfield

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