COVID vaccines, Afghanistan, Liz Cheney, and other top Opinion reads this week

In today’s fast-paced news environment, it can be hard to keep up. For your weekend reading, we’ve started in-case-you-missed-it compilations of some of the week’s top USA TODAY Opinion pieces. As always, thanks for reading, and for your feedback.

— USA TODAY Opinion editors

1. It’s time to start shunning the ‘vaccine hesitant.’ They’re blocking COVID herd immunity.

By Michael J. Stern

“For the better part of a year, as the coronavirus racked up hundreds of thousands of American deaths, the flickering light at the end of the tunnel was herd immunity — the antibody force shield that comes when enough people have survived the illness or have been vaccinated against it. ‘Go get vaccinated, America,’ President Joe Biden said in his speech to a joint session of Congress, referring to the shot as ‘a dose of hope.'”

2. I became a quadruple amputee in Afghanistan. It’s time for America to leave.

By Travis Mills

“The ninth anniversary of my injury (my ‘Alive Day’) has just passed — April 10. It comes just four days before my birthday — the same day I regained consciousness after being blown up. Some guys drink on their Alive Day, angry about the injuries they suffered. It’s a bittersweet thing. You are alive but you think, ‘Man, that sucks.'”

3. Rudy Giuliani raids signal accountability is coming for the Donald Trump era: Norman Eisen

By Norman Eisen

“Former President Donald Trump and his cronies should beware. The search warrants executed against Trump’s former personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, mark a leap forward in the Department of Justice’s look into the past four years of potential illegalities. It signals turbulent waters ahead for Giuliani and his former client alike.”

4. Facebook’s Oversight Board ban of Donald Trump is totally arbitrary and ideological

By Rachel Bovard

“Whether Facebook’s Oversight Board decides to allow former President Donald Trump back on its platform Wednesday is an exercise in distraction from a far more significant point: the raw power an unaccountable, private platform has to memory-hole a president of the United States.”

Facebook Free Speech Assault

5. Fox News should fire Tucker Carlson before his bullying on COVID masks gets someone killed

By Steven Petrow

“A few days after my run-in, Carlson used his prime-time bully pulpit to urge his millions of viewers to confront strangers — like me — who choose to wear masks in public (and even to call 911 if they see kids wearing a mask). Carlson, whose program is regularly riddled with falsehoods, described mask wearing as a ‘sign of political obedience’ and attacked those who wear them outdoors as ‘zealots and neurotics.'”

6. Trump Republicans have had it with Liz Cheney and the democracy she chooses to defend

By The Editorial Board

“Cheney, 54, the staunchly conservative daughter of a former vice president,is a third-term congresswoman from Wyoming — a state Trump carried in November with 70% of the vote. She also voted with Trump 92.9% of the time. But she broke with him after the insurrectional riot and joined nine other House Republicans in voting to impeach the outgoing president for instigating violence. ‘(He) summoned this mob, assembled this mob and lit the flame of this attack,’ Cheney said.”

The GOP's Scarlet Letter

7. If your teenager was addicted to opioids, would you know? It’s harder than you think.

By Dr. Bonnie Milas

“I am an anesthesiologist who administers fentanyl every day to patients. I have also heartbreakingly lost both of my adult sons to accidental opioid overdoses. I came to understand what opioid addiction looks like from a parent’s perspective, but, in the beginning stages it was very hard to detect, even for me. Everything that I share here, I have seen up-close in my home. I’m sharing these details so other parents can understand.”

8. Police crisis won’t be solved with convictions alone. Eradicate the thin blue line.

By Robin Wonsley Worlobah

“We cannot prosecute our way out of a policing system devised to protect the wealthy and maintain white supremacy. We need a full transformation of this so-called public safety system and the society that sustains it. I have lived in Minneapolis since 2014, and my community’s priorities are clear: We want an overhaul of our police and public safety. As the Chauvin trial was underway, police in Brooklyn Center, just north of Minneapolis, killed another unarmed Black man, Daunte Wright.”

9. I was wrong about the COVID-19 vaccines. Here’s what I learned.

By David Ridley

“In this opinion section a year ago, I predicted few people would be vaccinated for coronavirus disease in 2021. I’m glad I was wrong. I’ve been vaccinated and I hope you are, or will be soon. Skeptics like me underestimated three things: mRNA technology, the speed of the Food and Drug Administration and the willingness of the U.S. government to invest billions in vaccines that might not work. These lessons have implications for the race to cure other diseases and for future pandemics. Let’s look more closely at the three misconceptions before turning to the three lessons.”

Vaccine hesitancy

10. In Minneapolis, healing after Chauvin conviction, ‘I hope that the world is watching us’

By Suzette Hackney

“On the morning of May 26, Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder sent a news release to local media outlets that a forgery suspect believed to be in his 40s had died after a medical incident during a police interaction. The release described the arrest: ‘Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.’ ‘At no time were weapons of any type used by anyone involved in this incident,’ the release said. Weapons? No. But a knee. And so much more.”

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