Tobias Read’s Approach Is Too Simple

In the 10/21 issue of EW, Henry Houston wrote an article on state treasurer Tobias Read’s interest in running for governor. The quote after the lede reads, “We need steady, strong leadership in Oregon, so we can  move beyond the pandemic and start tackling our real challenges in Oregon… and to do that we need to get everybody vaccinated.”

Is the inverse true then? Namely, if Oregonians aren’t vaccinated then no other issue is worth trying to fix? How tenacious will Read be in mandating vaccines? The end of the article clears this up: “Read reiterates, though, that Oregon can’t address any of these other issues without first dealing with COVID-19.” So no other issues Oregon faces can be achieved until that one, singular, roadblock impeding all of Oregon’s progress is demolished — vaccines.

Is this guy for real? When will legitimate leaders realize that the solution to a global pandemic is more complex than merely mandating vaccines? If we are going to be serious about COVID-19 in our community, our government officials are going to need to be more dynamic than dogmatically singing the praises of a two-dimensional solution to a three-dimensional problem.

We need effective at-home testing that is quick, affordable and accurate, and we need to be open to other effective treatments, all in conjunction with vaccines. And above all, we need leaders who can focus their attention on more than one problem at a time, which is apparently outside of Read’s capability. 

James Phillips