I offer an answer to Keith Whitman’s “simple question,” which appeared in the Daily Press, October 15:
Yes, we do need someone like Dr. Renee Richer with expert knowledge in biology to represent us in Lansing, because our current Representative has sadly misled and misrepresented us; especially on the subject of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Mr. LaFave seems to believe the best way to deal with COVID-19 is to allow it to run its course, unimpeded — no masks, no social distancing, and no confinement orders. Many times Beau has been seen and photographed not wearing a mask or social distancing. He advocates such behavior as a way to achieve, “herd immunity.”
To achieve herd immunity in a human population, between 70% and 80% of all subjects must be exposed, become ill, and develop sufficient anti-bodies for a lasting immune response to occur. At that point, the virus cannot find enough susceptible hosts to sustain its spread, and the epidemic collapses.
If the SARS-Co-V2 virus is allowed to proliferate unimpeded and the minimum 70% of the 90,000 people of the 108th District which LaFave represents contract it, 63,000 people in Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties will become infected; many, seriously ill.
Using the conservative, often-cited lethality rate of 1%, then, by the time the desired immunity is achieved, 630 children, women and men will have died in the district.
Among them might be you, me, or some of our loved-ones.
However, if we use the current national COVID lethality rate of 2.7%, there would be nearly 2,000 deaths in our area.
That level is in the middle of the lethality range of 2 to 4% predicted last spring by CDC epidemiologists; a number which has repeatedly been dismissed by Donald Trump and his supporters, such as Mr. LaFave.
Beau was fortunate, apparently only suffering a mild case of COVID-19. However, many of his constituents have pre-existing conditions such as obesity, heart or lung disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, etc. which puts them at greater risk of severe illness or death.
So yes, Keith, I would prefer to have an intelligent, well-informed, principled, hard-working “professor” of biology who has the best interests of all her constituents at heart representing me in Lansing, rather than someone who puts Party and political expediency ahead of scientific facts, best health practices, and sound judgement.
I would prefer to have Dr. Renee Richer, mother, local business woman, and science teacher in the Michigan State House. That’s why I voted for her, and why I urge everyone to do so.
Daniel M. Young