Dear Mr. Trump
As you certainly know, more than seventy-four million Americans voted for you in the 2020 presidential election.
As you also know – and acknowledge — more than eight months after the elections, an overwhelming majority of those voters still love you, no matter what.
As you may also know, those voters believe every word you say, no matter what.
Finally, as we all know too well, our country – your country – has suffered more than thirty-four million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 600,000 Americans have died as a result of the pandemic.
Those cases and those fatalities include millions and hundreds of thousands, respectively, of people whom you love and who love you.
Vaccines were developed during your administration—and you certainly deserve some credit — that have stemmed the spread of the virus and cut its grim toll.
Today, half of Americans are fully vaccinated – even without clear support for such vaccinations from yourself, the Republican Party or other influential Republican voices.
However, just when we thought the national health nightmare was nearing an end, an even more virulent and contagious COVID virus strain is rapidly sweeping through the country, putting at serious risk those who have not yet been vaccinated.
New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are predominantly among unvaccinated people, at 95% and 93% respectively.
Sadly, a vast percentage of unvaccinated Americans are those very same people who love, respect, and believe you.
I do not believe it is an exaggeration to predict that one strong, categorical, genuine statement delivered by you in your eloquent, convincing manner urging those who love you to get vaccinated against this virus, will change millions of minds.
Your legacy at this point in time, rightly or wrongly, is contentious.
However, such a declaration can only add one strong, historical pillar to your legacy, and – much more importantly – will save thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of lives.
Our national health tragedy presents the opportunity for you to perform an act of magnanimity and patriotism few former presidents have had or will have the opportunity to do.
I hope you exercise it.
Dorian de Wind
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The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.