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Letter: Any pandemic-relief bill must also help poor countries

Letter: Any pandemic-relief bill must also help poor countries

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Regarding “In virus talks, Pelosi holds firm while Mnuchin wants a deal” (Aug. 10): While President Donald Trump’s executive orders attempt to cobble together benefits for Americans, they neglect wider global problems.

We must pass a relief bill soon that supports lower-income countries to deal with this crisis. In dozens of countries, coronavirus is not only impacting people directly, it is undermining 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. The Senate version of the relief bill included $4.5 billion of global funding, mainly for vaccine programs.

Sens. Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, Reps. William Lacy Clay, Ann Wagner and Blaine Luetkemeyer should pressure leadership to break the current 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 other infectious diseases.

Cynthia Changyit Levin • Town and Country

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