‘Guardians of our Freedoms’

Twice each year, Memorial Day and Veterans Day, the memories of “Wimpy,” Breakfast Buddy,” and ”Ken” are primary sparks of memories. These soldiers and many others come to mind with regularity.

“Wimpy,” my fraternity brother was an Airborne Ranger and helicopter pilot; fatally shot down in Vietnam, hardly a Wimp, an American Hero, guardian of our freedoms.

“My Breakfast Buddy,” was an Airborne Ranger, a blue-eyed descendant of former slaves. For years his name brought tears, he stepped on a land mine on a hillside near Plieuku, Vietnam. He was an American hero, guardian of our freedoms.

“Ken,” college mate, airborne, ranger, special forces, was posthumously awarded the congressional medal of honor. Honored to have visited the site where he earned this highest of medals, an American hero, guardian of our freedoms.

These soldiers are a constant reminder of the thousands of those whose blood and lives earned the ultimate title of “Guardians of our Freedom.”

To all a slow and long airborne salute in their honor.

Ora Gene Nettles

LTC Ret. USA

Fulton County, Kentucky

Nothing could be further from the truth

In today’s (11/03/2021) paper, you quoted Gov. Andy Beshear as lamenting the fact that the percentage of new COVID cases are rising and that the “only rational explanation is that the immunity does lessen a little bit over time” and thus recommending universal booster shots in contradiction to current CDC guidelines.

The governor is confused on the meaning of these statistics. As more people become vaccinated a greater percentage of the new cases will be breakthrough cases. Undeniably, if you achieved a 100% vaccination rate, 100% of the new cases would be breakthrough cases. He also falsely insinuated that there were an increasing absolute number of breakthrough cases. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Over the past 2 months, the percentage of breakthrough cases has slightly increased almost exclusively because the number of vaccinated Kentuckians has increased by about 10%. Simultaneously the absolute number of breakthrough cases has declined by about 60% as the most recent surge is abating. Later in the article, the governor seems to insinuate that the breakthrough rate is the inverse of the effectiveness of the vaccine which is utter nonsense.

Again if you had a 95% effective vaccine and 100% vaccine compliance the percentage of cases that were breakthroughs would be 100%. Unfortunately, his misleading statements are counter-productive in that they leave the false impression that the vaccines are ineffective (and thus discourage the unvaccinated to get their vaccine) when in fact they have proven to be very effective.

Chris Dobrose, MD

Mayfield, Kentucky

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