Our Turn: D’Allesandro owes apologies to veterans

Published: 2/23/2021 11:07:29 AM

In a Feb. 6 Concord Monitor op-ed, Sen. Lou D’Allesandro blasted Gov. Chris Sununu for his handling of the COVID-19 situation vis-à-vis coronavirus-related deaths at the New Hampshire Veterans Home. D’Allesandro points to a Sununu veto of 2020 legislation calling for him to develop a plan to safeguard long-term care facilities.

Those who know politics and the legislative process understand some bills and resolutions are worded and packaged with other measures in such a way as to serve political ends as opposed to genuinely impacting public health. Sanctimonious posturing abounds. The governor’s veto messages clearly explain his rationales for signing or rejecting legislation.

Sununu’s work in dealing with the pandemic in New Hampshire has won rave reviews nationally. He’s received plaudits from Granite Staters from across the political spectrum – to include Republicans, Democrats, and independents. Consider his amazing election triumph last November and his record 2-1 victory margin over a Democrat who similarly took cheap shot after cheap shot at our popular chief executive.

D’Allesandro owes the governor an abject apology.

After the coronavirus finally penetrated the best efforts of the NHVH staff to keep it out of the facility, the Manchester senator sent a letter asking the governor for a plan to deal with the situation, ignoring the herculean work already done, thus impugning not only the governor but all those who made brave efforts to care for and protect veterans. Sununu could not have been more transparent about all measures the state has taken to combat the pandemic. Witness his weekly televised COVID updates and his willingness to take questions from everyone. Indeed, some even accused him of overreacting and trying to do too much.

D’Allesandro owes the NHVH staff an abject apology.

The Manchester senator called on Sununu to “appoint an outside, independent expert or experts to fully investigate the causes of this outbreak and what could have prevented it.” But while Democrats love expensive government commissions, there’s obviously no way to determine how the invisible virus finally penetrated the protections the NHVH staff heroically put in place. Many feel that D’Allesandro seeks to exploit the tragic deaths at NHVH for partisan political points.

D’Allesandro owes the families of deceased veterans an abject apology.

The way the governor and most Granite Staters – including the NHVH community – have pulled together as a team to deal with the pandemic should be a source of inspiration and celebration.

Inevitable setbacks in the fight against COVID should serve to pull us together. They should not be exploited for partisan political points.

(Rep. Al Baldasaro of Londonderry is a retired Marine Corps first sergeant and is in his eighth term as a state representative. He chairs the House Committee on State and Federal Relations and Veteran Affairs. Bob Giuda is District 2 state senator and a former Marine Corps pilot. Joe Kenney is a District 1 executive councilor and a retired Marine Corps officer.)

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