Your Views: Aug. 27, 2020


Our family appreciates support and kindness


Thank you and God bless you all. Thank you so much to all who donated to Ivy’s Recovery Fund at

First Citizens Bank. Thanks also for all the prayers and words of encouragement. May you be richly


Tim and Amy McCoy, Ivy Dale and Kathasue Fleming


It costs evangelicals to dance with Trump

Before retiring, I worked in
a laboratory with an evangeli-
cal coworker, Patti. Patti was a good person, a kind person, but she made a comment revealing values I considered misguided. Approaching the 2016 election,
we discussed several moves by Republican states to suppress the minority vote — like slashing the number of polling places in minor- ity neighborhoods, or last minute rule changes to purge minority voters from voting rolls. We also discussed Trump’s infamous “Rus- sia if you’re listening,” invitation to hack into our election. Patti didn’t deny these abuses, she justified them with the comment: “That’s OK with me, because it helps us win — helps God win.”

Democracy, the concept that in America all citizens have a sacred right to vote and shape their own destiny, was something Patti didn’t really believe in, except for herself.

She sincerely believed that win- ning that election by manipula- tion, or even foreign interference was “good,” because she believed God wanted Donald Trump to win. Trump had convinced her he was

a saviour for her values and she became his true believer.

I thought her reasoning was self- righteous.

Every voter thinks their beliefs are right, but that’s the heart and soul of democracy. Patti wanted to mix church and state and like Donald Trump she disrespected the process.

I was more outraged when Trump canceled the Medical Deferred Action Program. Immigration law allowed dozens of children to remain in the United States beyond the original time limit of their visas, because of receiving life-saving medical treatments unavailable in their home countries.

A child with leukemia or a heart defect could remain here as long as the life-saving treatment was deemed medically necessary. In the vast majority of cases, returning home would mean certain death, and the premier institutions providing life saving care covered the cost of treatment, not the taxpayers. Yet in a letter sent August 2019 Trump declared the program canceled, giving sick children 33

days to self-deport. I consider that pure evil. Even so, when I raised this issue in church, a serious question was raised, “But they might take a spot from one of our children.” Had Jesus walked in the door I could have asked, “Lord, are these “your children?” He would have surely answered “yes,” but I believe he would have added, “and if you are in me, how is it you don’t know they are your children too ?”

Some evangelicals, and Trump- minded Republicans in general, have abandoned compassion when dealing with powerless people — even children facing death.

They have substituted self- interest and race-based fear. Some are willing to manipulate, or even destroy democracy, fearing their party or color is losing the majority.

Are these the new evangelical principles in the age of Trump?

If we surrender compassion, or corrupt democracy to unfairly hold power, instead of earning it, what’s left of our supposed values, our ideals? How can we light the world if we willingly embrace darkness?

James Messmer


Research doesn’t support effectiveness of HCQ

In my recent opinion piece I hoped to focus on medical de- velopments and avoid the hy- droxychloroquine controversy, but Jim Davis’ response to my article requires an answer. The author claims his background as
a director of Accuracy in Media makes him qualified in accuracy, but that’s a funny oxymoron. AIM is a well-known conservative news media watchdog rated by: www. as on the extreme right.

Most similar conservative and liberal sites are not rated extreme and have less of a focus on distort- ing facts to accomplish political goals. Unlike many, AIM has had a strong anti-science bias, deny- ing the harmful effects of Agent Orange, denying man-made con- tributions to global warming and much more.

First, a summary: The evidence thus far does not indicate that hydroxychloroquine is effective at treating or preventing COVID-19. Full stop, and as “end of story,” as science ever gets.

Hope and dream all you want but that’s where the evidence
is right now. So, what studies have been done on hydroxychlo- roquine? Many, as it turns out. Here’s a selection:

“Hydroxychloroquine with or without Azithromycin in Mild-to-

Moderate Covid-19” Source: www. Also see “Hydroxychlo- roquine Probably Doesn’t Work For COVID-19” at: www.medium. com.

A summary of 21 such studies is at: www.dason.medicine.duke. edu/summary-recent-clinical-da- ta-use-hydroxychloroquine-and- chloroquine-covid-19.

There are also several retracted studies on HCQ and lists of those are easy to find. A breakdown of the general state of the research can be found here: “Hydroxychlo- roquine to treat COVID-19: Evi- dence can’t seem to kill it” Source: hydroxychloroquine-to-treat- covid-19-evidence-cant-seem-to- kill-it.

I’m trying to show how thor- oughly, exhaustively, perhaps even “excessively” this question has been examined. At this point, every dollar spent researching the effectiveness of HCQ — which is as “known” as anything can reason- ably be in this situation — is a dollar not spent researching some- thing genuinely new and possibly effective.

Because of some early data out of China, the assertion was that HCQ might help very ill patients to not die from COVID-19. We researched that and found the as- sociation to not be genuine. Then

the allegation changed to being that hospitalized moderate cases might be kept from getting worse with HCQ. We investigated that and found it to be false. Then,
the allegation morphed again for much the same reason, to being that HCQ + Zinc + Azithromycin might help early or as a prophy- lactic treatment for COVID-19.
We researched that, too and found it to be false. Was there a reason based on the earlier data to make the later allegations? No. People were attached to it for emotional, not scientific reasons. They wanted to believe that there was some- thing there and were willing to cut corners, to slice-and-dice data, to hack p-values, in order to validate that belief — and that’s dangerous.

Every day and every dollar spent on a dead-end of COVID-19 research is a day and a dollar that isn’t spent on something even potentially more fruitful. Cling- ing to pet theories and shifting the goalposts to justify continued research efforts on them doesn’t help us save lives. When we are just clinging to a vain hope rather than taking a balanced view of existing data, we are in dangerous territory.

Don’t get taken in by those research rabbit holes, because they have no end.

Michael Gora


Clay County Hearts for Kids extends thanks to community

Clay County Hearts for Kids would like to extend a huge thank you once again to Janice and Doo- bie White and their crew for host- ing a benefit concert on Saturday, Aug. 15 at the Clay County Rec Park featuring the Steven Phillips Band. The White’s are some of
the kindest, most generous people you will ever meet.

Thank you also to Darryl Mathis, Kim Freeman and fam- ily, Phil Evans, Kevin Grishaber, Tony White, Jamie Green and all the other volunteers and campers at the Clay County Rec Park that made this event a success. Thank you to the following businesses who donated towards the event: Brothers of Hiawassee, Parts

City, Ledford and Parker, Moun- tain Valley Builder’s Supply and Nicholas Brusini.

The music was awesome, the food was delicious and the event was run flawlessly. Thanks to the generosity of all that participated, more than $2,500 was raised to go towards Clay County Hearts for Kids.

The Clay County Hearts for Kids organization is a group
that supports foster children/ youth and at-risk children/
youth by funding activities and needs, which include events such as camps, sports/registrations, school trips, yearbooks, school pictures, prom, tutoring, birthday celebrations and various other

needs that arise. Every dollar that is raised goes directly towards meeting the needs of foster children and at-risk children. The White’s and their crew worked tirelessly to promote, organize and orchestrate the event. Thank you all.

Todd Goins