To the Editor:
The article “In virus talks, Pelosi holds firm while Mnuchin wants a deal” reports continued dissent from our elected officials in Washington. Congressional inaction on COVID-19 relief hurts Americans and also deepens wider global problems as well.
In low-income countries, COVID-19 impacts people in poverty profoundly as it takes lives and undermines years of progress in fighting other diseases. The longer the U.S. withholds support from the worldwide partnership cooperating on global health problems, the longer kids will miss out on life-saving vaccines for killer diseases like measles and polio. Food insecurity and starvation are rising fast, and it’s getting harder to access treatment for diseases like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
I urge senators and representatives to come together and pass a COVID-19 relief bill soon that supports lower-income countries to deal with the immediate crisis and to strengthen healthcare systems in the long run.
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I'm calling on Sens. Durbin and Duckworth, and Congressmen Bost and Shimkus to break the stalemate and pass an emergency response package that includes no less than $20 billion for the global response to the pandemic and focuses on vaccines, nutrition, and infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria.
Cynthia Changyit Levin
Town and Country, Missouri