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To the Editor:

Re “Idaho Imposes Its Covid Crisis on a Neighbor” (front page, Sept. 14):

Stories like this infuriate me. We know now that most of those Covid cases that are overstuffing Idaho’s hospitals and spilling over into neighboring states involve those who refuse to be vaccinated.

People with heart attacks or strokes and victims of auto accidents are dying or having their lives threatened because there is no room in a hospital for them because of the anti-vaxxers filling the wards.

My wife and I followed all the rules, but got infected anyway. We toughed it out at home, surviving on Tylenol. Admittedly, we were among the lucky ones who survived without hospitalization or the medications that the famous and rich have received, and we have had few aftereffects. But I would wish it on no one.

So, if you believe Covid is a hoax and that the vaccine is a plot against you and you get infected, do the intelligent people a favor and stay out of our hospitals. After all, you’re tough and you know it’s all a hoax.

Edward Gallardo
Sun City West, Ariz.

To the Editor:

As a family physician and educator for more than 30 years, I have come to equate the ongoing Covid pandemic with war. Among health care providers there are reports of moral injury similar to those reported by veterans.

I see it in myself, my colleagues and my trainees. I have always tried to model and teach resilience. Covid has challenged my ability to do so. There is so much suffering and death that were preventable if only our government had focused on public health.

How do we reckon with a dysfunctional, underresourced public health system? How do we reckon with local, state and national leaders who do not act in the best interest of those they serve? How do we reckon with community members, colleagues, neighbors, friends and family who do not make the choices to protect themselves and others? How do we reckon with our own ongoing anger, fear and grief? How then do we maintain, model and teach resilience?

Among my many, many fears about this pandemic and those likely to follow is a surge of mental health problems and suicides within the health care worker community.

Listen to our cry for help. Do everything possible to stop Covid and give us respite.

Nancy Bermon
New York

To the Editor:

Re “Covid Hospitalizations Hit Crisis Levels in Southern I.C.U.s” (graphic, Sept. 14):

In Southern intensive care units, care is clearly being rationed. Life-sustaining services are being delayed, diluted in quality or even denied because of staffing and bed shortages.

Opinion Conversation
Questions surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine and its rollout.

The question is whether this rationing is taking place in an ad hoc, covert and suboptimal manner. Will I.C.U. and E.R. doctors and nurses become what the political scientist Michael Lipsky calls “street-level bureaucrats” facing limited time and resources, yet possessing enormous discretion over life-or-death services? The result can only be an exhausted, demoralized and morally distressed hospital staff.

Although there will always be a place for individual professional discretion, it is up to hospitals and ultimately state governments to provide clear, transparent and legally supportable guidelines for making the tough choices involved in patient triage. Thus far, few have accepted their responsibilities.

Martin A. Strosberg
Schenectady, N.Y.
The writer is a former professor of health care policy at Union College and Clarkson University.

To the Editor:

Re “Some Parents Say No to a Bigger Child Credit,” by Patrick T. Brown (Opinion guest essay, Sept. 16):

Talk to any parents and they will tell you: Raising children is work. The child tax credit is all about honoring the dignity of that work.

For decades, Wall Street and Washington have perpetuated a system that doesn’t value work or the people who do it. Wages have been too low, and parents can’t keep up with the high cost of raising kids, no matter how hard they work. We are changing that, and making parents’ hard work pay off.

Many of the Ohio parents I hear from are using these tax cuts to afford child care, so they can go to work and provide a better future for their kids.

Sherrod Brown
The writer, a Democrat, is a U.S. senator from Ohio.

To the Editor:

Re “A War Rages On in the Shadows” (front page, Sept. 11):

I was interviewed for this article, but my viewpoint that these wars are counterproductive was hardly touched on. Instead, the article highlighted that “experts” argue that counterterrorism activities beyond Afghanistan and Iraq have been a success.

Costs of War Project research suggests that it would be hard to find evidence to back up this claim. Since 9/11, U.S. counterterrorism abroad has been one of the main drivers of Islamist militant recruitment.

U.S. counterterrorism operations, especially drone strikes, cause blowback. Worldwide, there are more Islamist militant groups, and more recruits to those groups, than there were before 9/11. Historical research shows that a military approach has hardly ever been effective in addressing terrorist violence.

It is alarming that this article gives the impression that the United States should engage in these counterterrorism operations in many countries, just as the U.S. is drawing down in Afghanistan.

Stephanie Savell
Providence, R.I.
The writer is co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University.

To the Editor:

Re “Plan to Tax Rich Aims at Incomes, Not Big Fortunes” (front page, Sept. 14):

The Democrats in Congress have provided some details about their plans to revise the U.S. tax code that are very disappointing. In particular, they plan to continue to tax capital gains at a lower rate than they tax wages and to continue to maintain an extremely complex tax system, both of which benefit the rich who finance the political campaigns of those who write our tax laws.

The income for most rich people is in fact capital gains, and there is no good economic reason to tax that income at a lower rate than the same income earned in salary. The complexity of our tax system is for one purpose and one purpose only: It gives Congress the opportunity to give benefits to some taxpayers that it does not give to others and provides a way to hide those benefits from the general public.

Democrats should feel ashamed about missing an opportunity to simplify the federal tax system and make it fair for everyone.

Russell A. Simpson
Laredo, Texas
The writer is a retired attorney and a former assistant dean of Harvard Law School.

To the Editor:

In “Pediatric Cancer Shouldn’t Bankrupt Families” (Opinion guest essay, Aug. 6), Andrew Kaczynski relates that although he lost his daughter to cancer, given their “ample savings and excellent health insurance,” his family “was one of the lucky ones.”

Not every American is fortunate enough to have ample savings, but what they should have — and what the citizens of every other advanced nation already have — is health care that is both universal and affordable.

Health care experts here have for decades been pushing for just such a system, namely, single-payer “Medicare for all.” This would be government-funded but privately delivered health care, with contributions based on income, with none of the out-of-pocket costs that prevent so many of us from getting timely, necessary medical care.

We have a health insurance system where you can buy only the health care you can afford. What we need is a health insurance system where you can get all the care you need to get better: Medicare for all is the right prescription for the country to do exactly that.

Jay D. Brock
Fredericksburg, Va.
The writer is a retired family physician.

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