Shared from the 2/7/2019 The Miami Herald eEdition

OPEN MIC

A call for U.S. leadership on The Global Fund

During this time of intense partisanship, our country has found common ground in its support for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

A 21st century partnership to accelerate the end of epidemics and diseases of poverty, The Global Fund mobilizes and invests nearly $4 billion a year for programs run by local experts in countries and communities with the greatest need.

The results are promising. The number of deaths caused by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria each year has been reduced by one-third since 2002 in countries where The Global Fund invests.

Not only does The Global Fund unite the world community to end preventable diseases, it also has the benefit of creating economic opportunities.

In fact, improvements to Global Fund procurement and supply chains have saved more than $850 million over five years — this is money that member countries now use to save lives and improve systems.

Although great strides have been made, this is no time for complacency.

More than 3 million people still die from AIDS, TB and malaria each year.

Our continued commitment to The Global Fund represents what is best in us as Americans and our willingness to stand with our friends throughout the world.

In January, 136 members of Congress, in a bipartisan effort, signed a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling on the United States to support the upcoming replenishment of The Global Fund.

We ask Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, and Florida’s members in the U.S. House to fund this multilateral effort to end these diseases of poverty.

– Lisa Forman Rosen,

RESULTS Miami,

Coral Gables

MISLEADING SPEECH

The president’s State of the Union speech was riddled with untruths and misleading statements. I encourage Herald readers to fact-check his entire presentation.

El Paso was never one of America’s most dangerous cities.

The U.S. economy grew at faster rates at least twice during the Obama presidency. Other countries’ economies are growing at a faster rate than ours now. The list goes on and on.

President Trump is encouraging an arms race, not only with Russia, but other countries, too. North Korea has no intention of giving up any of its nuclear capabilities.

Trump in one sentence tries to encourage bipartisanship, then says antagonistic statements pointed directly at the Democrats.

He has no intention of trying to cooperate or being part of the solutions Americans desperately need and deserve.

He has been raised in a culture of “It’s my way or the highway!”

– Randy Grant,

Fort Lauderdale

A BIG HIT

Wow! The president hit a home run. And I never root for him — ever.

His State of the Union speech was out of the park. He hit all bases. Who were his coaches?

The speech writers helped him to avoid foul balls. Hope he can keep this up and boost his poor batting average.

– Alene L. Fishbein,

Golden Beach

CLEANER, NOT MEANER

Donald Trump thought it was appropriate for his image to have a 10-year-old cancer survivor as a guest at his State of the Union address.

Seems this little girl survived thanks to St. Jude’s Hospital and its donors.

If Trump is concerned about cancer, he needs to rethink all the controls he has removed on pollutants of water, air, and food. These pollutants cause many cancers.

Instead, he bragged about removing those controls.Thank you, St. Jude’s, and shame on Donald Trump.

– Madeleine Driesen,

Miami

GREAT SPEECH

In President Trump’s State of the Union address, we heard the speech of a leader!

– Sylvia Viyella,

Coral Gables

SUPERB TALENT

There was exuberant joy at the Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall on Feb. 1 and 2.

Barbara Hannigan, maestro and soprano, beautifully soared using both talents to entertain and thrill the audience.

A Gershwin piece, a medley of our favorite tunes, featured Hannigan’s powerful and dulcet voice with the musicians’ choral accompaniment, a surprise for the audience and a progressive interlude to the classical repertoire.

Hannigan was congratulated for her stellar performance with a standing ovation, whoops and whistles, as her voice added to the instrumental symphony.

Bravo to The Cleveland Orchestra for its annual concert residence.

– Susan Ackley,

Miami Shores

TEACHER RAISES

The reason Miami-Dade County Public Schools asked voters to raise their own taxes was because, for years, the Florida Legislature has been siphoning billions of dollars from public schools and handing it over to unaccountable corporate charter school operators.

Now those same charters, who told the parents to vote No on the referendum because they wouldn’t be getting any of the money, are organizing an “Astroturf” campaign to increase their own profits.

If charter schools want to increase teacher pay, they should just do it.

Nobody is stopping them.

– Enrique Baloyra,

Biscayne Park

REVAMPING SCHOOLS

How gratifying to read that our new governor is making some changes in education.

Here are some he has made and more he should consider:

1. Common Core was a good idea initially; it morphed into a real problem for parents who couldn’t help their children with their homework. It’s gone.

2. The obsession with testing, sometimes occupying almost 50 percent of the school day, was ludicrous. We’re returning to common sense.

3. Let’s hope the governor also will bolster salaries. I spent a lifetime as a school principal in five states. Teacher pay in Florida is disgraceful.

4. The monster headquarters that serve as the centers of education in each county are unnecessary embarrassments. State budgets need to deprive these facilities of funds.

5. If the teachers and principal were allowed to once again run the schools with board support, achievement would rise, discipline problems would subside and numerous staff would no longer be needed.

Nationally, we have more job openings than people to fill them.

Let’s take advantage of this blessing and channel these superfluous people into alternate employment opportunities.

Thank you, Gov. DeSantis, for your foresight.

Persevere and, in so doing, know that millions of Floridians are behind you.

– Daryl L. Unnasch,

Miami Shores

NO SATISFACTION

Charter schools were started to provide parents with educational choices. They wanted autonomy from the district in all aspects of decisions, choices, and procedures. Now that the traditional schools have worked to increase both standards in education and salaries through a tax increase, that autonomy is not as special.

I don’t recall seeing charter school staff at the many town hall meetings held to encourage voters, nor administrators speaking in favor of the tax item. But now, they’re demanding the same treatment. Sometimes what you need turns out to be not what you want.

– Debbie Graper,

Cutler Bay

FIGURE OF SPEECH

The Feb. 6 Herald editorial covered President Trump’s address and his comments about the “dangerous” southern border and the “violent” crimes committed by illegal immigrants.

He invited surviving members of a family killed by illegal immigrants to stand during his speech, implying that all illegal immigrants commit violent crime and murders. Trump is guilty of synecdoche, meaning Trump used a few exaples to generalize.

Numerous objective studies, including one by the Cato Institute, a center-right think tank, and the state of Texas, found that illegal immigrants committed violent crimes at much lower rates than did native-born Americans. Once again, Trump has his own opinions and he does not want to be confused by the facts.

Despite calls for national unity and an end to political bickering, Trump continues his vitriol against immigrants and his call for a border wall.

– Barry Rabinowitz,

Plantation

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