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The Post and Courier provides a forum for our readers to share their opinions, and to hold up a mirror to our community. Publication does not imply endorsement by the newspaper; the editorial staff attempts to select a representative sample of letters because we believe it’s important to let our readers see the range of opinions their neighbors submit for publication.

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Letters to the Editor: Senators lack empathy

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Unemployment Benefits

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham is against extending the $600 weekly unemployment benefit past July 31. File/Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Shame on Sen. Lindsey Graham for saying that over his dead body the extra $600 weekly unemployment benefit would be extended past July 31. Sen. Tim Scott and some others in Congress feel the same way.

They seem to think that an additional $600 a week will keep able-bodied people from going back to work. What makes them think that most Americans don’t want to work and take care of their families?

Americans are hurting. They have groceries to buy, rent to pay, mortgages, car payments and other bills. Many have been waiting for unemployment benefits for weeks. One man called 1,000 times and got a response only after he contacted a television station.

Can those out of work trust small businesses to rehire them? Just look at what the big companies did when they got a bailout. But the government has rewarded them again.

Congress has no problem bailing out the big guys. The little people are left with crumbs from the table. I suspect that if some of the smaller businesses were paying their employees livable wages before the pandemic, those out of work would not be in such dire straits.

In the meantime, Sens. Graham and Scott are collecting their paychecks of $174,000 per year and the perks that go along with them.

Maybe some of the middle-class folks who voted for these two senators are feeling what it’s like not to have the basics for their families. Maybe this time around, they will vote for candidates who have empathy for their fellow Americans.

BLONDELL E. KIDD

Natures Color Lane

North Charleston

We lost a hero

While many believe the COVID-19 crisis is beyond anything in living memory, some who remember the onset of the AIDS crisis may disagree. A disease science could not cure was ravaging the country, and hitting minorities, while government failed to act.

Today we celebrate heroes: first responders, health care professionals, and those stocking shelves and making deliveries.

Back then, AIDS patients were abandoned by family, and some health care workers (with notable exceptions), with all the PPE available, refused to touch them.

But heroes rose in that crisis, too. We lost one last week.

In the 1980s, Joe Hall took a cut in pay to head the local response to help people with HIV. Joe steered Lowcountry Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services and, with a dedicated board of volunteers, created Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services.

He began the popular Dining with Friends to fund health care, housing and counseling.

For nearly a decade, he was among the Lowcountry’s chief advocates for people with HIV.

Joe left Charleston to help people around the globe through the National Democratic Institute.

He worked in Africa, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union to help people determine their own fates through fair and just elections. He charmed, beguiled and persuaded world leaders and people on the street.

His friends and family know there was no one ever quite like Joe Hall. He changed our community with his presence, and we are diminished by his passing.

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Joe Hall died suddenly April 27 in Washington, D.C., at age 61.

HARLAN GREENE

Chapel Street

Charleston

Vitamin D helps

One group not included in the April 30 Post and Courier article on vitamin D was our older population.

That group, along with African Americans, Latinos and Asians, is also is dying at high rates due to COVID-19.

Researchers have discovered that low vitamin D levels are more common and more severe in older people. Why? Because the ability to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight diminishes with age as does gut absorption.

If a person has low mobility and can’t get into the sunlight on a regular basis or is in a living situation that doesn’t allow proper time for sun exposure, vitamin D levels will be further diminshed.

Low vitamin D levels are responsible for a host of age-related illnesses that can shorten a person’s life.

If vitamin D offers protection against viral and bacterial infections in this age group and, if a high percentage of deaths due to COVID-19 affects the older population, wouldn’t it make sense to get vitamin D levels checked? Seniors should check with a doctor to find out what dosage of a supplement is appropriate.

At the very least, people in this age group should get out into the sunshine a couple of times each day.

CAROLYN REUTHER

Brady Street

Daniel Island

Vote absentee, seniors

I would like to thank the April 23 Post and Courier editorial for reminding old folks like me to vote absentee.

JERRY JEWLER

Wildewood Downs Circle

Columbia

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