John Balentine (“Vaccine is best Christmas gift ever,” Dec. 18) writes a fairy tale which begins: Once upon a time “we should be thankful for … the speedy delivery of (the Pfizer vaccine).” BUT, both widespread vaccine distribution and large-scale inoculation programs will not be implemented for months, possibly into spring or summer of 2021, and when available, some citizens will not accept the vaccine (magic potion). In Balentine’s tale, this “miracle drug … (is) a victory over a contagion (which) has decimated the economy.” BUT, “victory” will never be complete (if ever) until a robust inoculation program is in place – meanwhile, current mask mandates, ongoing shutdowns, etc. are still required to limit the spread of COVID-19 (see “Balentine no health expert, reader is,” Dec. 4).

Balentine’s most egregious fib: “… the government … sponsored research into anti-viral … treatments … allowing … President Trump to fight off the virus.” BUT, these specific therapeutic regimens are not available to the general public. However, if you are Trump, Ben Carson or Rudy Guiliani (they all obtained a special waiver), you have benefited from a treatment your fellow American citizens cannot receive.

I hope the vaccine is the magic wand. In the “real” story, however, the Fairy King Trump DID NOT inform the kingdom of the existence of COVID-19 (January 2020). Next, King Trump said COVID-19 was a hoax. As time went on, King Trump stated COVID-19 will “simply disappear” – puff! Toward the end of King Trump’s reign, he wanted the small fiefdoms (states) to handle the “problem” – he had other things to do (playing royalty golf). Mr. Balentine, King Trump will leave the castle and President-elect Biden will bring both sanity back to the kingdom and a program to limit the overall effects of COVID-19.

John M. Mishler