I’m still digesting Sen. Susan Collins’ Dec. 29 column. She is one of the most senior senators and the ranking member on an important committee. The initiatives she stated are what is expected from someone of her standing.

While I applaud the senator for her efforts regarding the pandemic, I wish she would use her position to speak out more forcefully to her elected Republican colleagues and constituents.

COVID is an existential global threat to everybody! We can’t afford to have elected officials disseminating misinformation in order to ingratiate the former president and/or his followers. We will never rid ourselves of this virus unless we’re all in this together.

In addition, what I found most troubling with the column is what is most glaringly missing: climate change and attacks on our democracy. I’m assuming the senator recognizes the existential threat of both, one to global humankind and the other to our form of representative democracy.

I can’t express how disappointed I am with her silence regarding these two issues. Apparently she is either totally intimidated by her Republican colleagues or totally ignorant of the consequences. Neither is acceptable.

Sen. Collins is elected to be an informed leader, to inform and educate all her constituents. Her consecutive voting record is meaningless unless she represents a government where all citizens’ votes are sacred, living in a world where natural disasters aren’t lurking around every corner. Now is the time for our elected officials to accept the responsibilities we’ve entrusted in them. This is not the time for politics as usual. Now is the time to lead!

Roger Beeley

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