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To the editor: As a result of the COVID pandemic, we can observe the increased flow of our national wealth/debt to the top via the profits that are reaped by Pfizer, Moderna, etc. and their stockholders (which include Speaker Nancy Pelosi and 74 other members of our stock-trading Congress.)

While some get fabulously wealthy, let’s see how the average American fares when compared to the average person in some other country, say, Cuba, a country that the U.S. has embargoed for more than the last half century.

For example, the life expectancy in the U.S. was recently lowered to 77.3 years. In Cuba it is 78 years. The infant mortality rate in the U.S. is 5.7 deaths per thousand. In Cuba that rate is 4.3. As to how our government handles the pandemic, the U.S. has 2500 COVID deaths per million people, while Cuba has only 733 deaths per million, or less than a third of the U.S. COVID-attributed deaths. The U.S. COVID solution was to create vaccines issued under an FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) where Pfizer/Moderna would have no liability for any adverse effects of their vaccines. However, in some other countries there are different solutions used, including early treatment, which appear to be more successful. For example, the reported COVID death rate per million people in Turkey is 976, less than half the COVID death rate in the U.S. The COVID death rate in Iran is two-thirds that of the U.S. It does make one wonder.

In further comparison, the Democrats (and Republicans) recently had an opportunity to help average Americans improve their lot in life by increasing the federal minimum wage, lowering the Medicare eligibility age, allowing Medicare to negotiate rates for drug prescriptions like the VA does, and helping struggling families with day care costs. Instead, Congress gave the military $24 billion more than the president requested for a total military budget of $768 billion, despite not having to continue funding their failed, illegal Afghan war. The military budgets of China and Russia combined is less than half (40 percent) that amount.

It is also interesting that at least 15 of our stock-trading Congress members have investments in the weapons industries that they regulate.

It seems it is time to elect a third party that will actually lead a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.“

William Rice

Randolph Center, Jan. 4