I was born and raised in Augusta, and still proudly cast my vote there. As a Mainer and epidemiologist, I’m proud of our state’s pandemic response. But federal leadership has failed.

In contrast to the U.S., Australia has had one-20th as many deaths per million people. Yesterday, Australia reported no new COVID-19 cases. Most Americans would be shocked seeing how “normal” life is here. The economy is largely open. On a recent weekend, 35,000 supporters packed a rugby match, without needing masks or distancing. The difference between the countries results from effective leadership, early action and belief in science.

Kalie Hess is a leader in public health and, unlike her opponent, strongly supported Maine’s new immunization law. A vaccine is our only escape from this pandemic; herd immunity isn’t possible without vaccination. Maine needs legislators who trust scientific, evidence-based information, and vaccines.

That’s why I voted for Kalie Hess for state Senate.

Alexis Pillsbury
Helensburgh NSW, Australia

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