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To the Editor:

Re “Bezos Reaches Space but Sees It as Small Step” (front page, July 21):

While much of the world turned eyes skyward to watch the billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson scratch the edge of space, it is important to remember what we are turning our eyes away from: a world in shambles.

The World Health Organization estimates more than 190 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 globally — and that number is rising. More than 500,000 people have died of hunger so far just this month. The Oregon Bootleg fire is so large and out of control that it is creating its own weather pattern, and the window to save our planet from an out-of-control climate is swiftly closing.

With their nearly unlimited funds and exceptional resources, billionaires like Mr. Branson and Mr. Bezos could help end these global catastrophes while barely affecting the fortunes they have amassed. But instead they choose to play spaceman.

Much of the majesty of early spaceflight was about building a better tomorrow and inspiring hope for the future. Unfortunately, these last few weeks prove that tomorrow belongs to the rich beneficiaries of an unjust economic system who are unwilling to answer the call when they are needed most.

Gabe Downey
Southfield, Mich.

To the Editor:

If the powers that be were really as concerned about global warming as they claim, space tourism would be against the law. Can you imagine how much environmental damage just one flight causes?

Lise Chase
Millbrook, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Basic economics teaches that one way to have less of anything is to tax it. The proposal of Representative Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Oregon, and others to impose special taxes on private spaceflight is not exempt from this rule. These proposals, properly viewed, amount to taxes on extraordinary innovation, entrepreneurship and risk-taking — essential attributes of a thriving economy.

Kenneth A. Margolis
Chappaqua, N.Y.

To the Editor:

How charming that Jeff Bezos thanked Amazon’s workers and customers for paying for his Blue Origin spaceflight. How much more meaningful would it be if he truly recognized their role in helping him become such a wealthy man by making sure that those who make his wealth possible, the cogs in the wheels of his businesses, receive at least a true living wage?

The sign of greatness is not what we do for our own pleasure but rather what we do to lift those around us. He has such potential to model greatness. Let’s hope that he realizes it and serves to inspire others like him to do likewise.

Pam Sloane
Old Greenwich, Conn.

To the Editor:

Oliver Daemen, at 18 the youngest person to travel into space, made Tuesday my “best day ever” too, to echo Jeff Bezos. I was always told to work hard to push the boundaries of knowledge, but Blue Origin made me realize that to achieve breakthroughs, we must also work hard to push the boundaries of our imagination.

Although the trip took only 10 minutes, it took decades of research, preparation and teamwork. We owe so much to these astronauts and those before them who inspired us to imagine, learn and act in new ways. They showed us a world of wonders and possibilities.

So, here’s to all the students out there: Launch yourself, to discover the world and push the boundaries of your imagination.

Henry Huang
Los Altos Hills, Calif.

To the Editor:

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must come to terms with reality: Either approve the Covid vaccines for all children now or recommend that we close the schools and go back to virtual learning until you do approve the vaccines. The Delta variant is here and will devastate unvaccinated people.

While I really do not care anymore about the ignorant and arrogant who chose not to get vaccinated, I do care about our children, who are being held hostage by what I believe to be overly cautious F.D.A. and C.D.C. officials. Either protect our children or close the schools.

Steven E. Keller
The writer is a professor of family medicine, emergency medicine and psychiatry at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

To the Editor:

The primary reason that health officials want all young people eventually vaccinated is not that Covid poses a great risk to them. A small number will have complications; a tiny percentage will die.

The reason that health officials want everyone vaccinated is that anyone who contracts Covid can be the patient zero within whom a new strain of Covid originates that can kill us, vaccinated or not! Perhaps the emphasis should always be on this sobering fact.

Lee Goldberg
Naperville, Ill.

The post Jeff Bezos in Space: Inspiring or Wasteful? appeared first on The News Amed.