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Giving thanks, inflation, health disparities and more

President Joe Biden pardons Peanut Butter, the national

President Joe Biden pardons Peanut Butter, the national Thanksgiving turkey, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. Phil Seger, chairman of the National Turkey Federation and .Andrea Welp, turkey grower from Indiana stand with Biden. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Credit: AP/Susan Walsh

Gratitude for those neighbors who help

I offer my heartfelt thanks to all our neighbors who make helping others a priority in their lives ["Food insecurity persists, say LI groups," News, Nov. 22].

Whether responding to the devastation caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, offering relief after the destructive home fires that occur nearly every day on Long Island, or supporting others who need extra aid during the pandemic, our neighbors raise their hands to help in countless ways.

Daily, I am humbled by our Red Cross volunteers who share their time to help the most vulnerable prepare for and recover from life-changing disasters. And when needed, these selfless individuals put their lives on hold for weeks at a time to lend a hand far from home after relentless hurricanes by the Gulf of Mexico and wildfires out West.

I am also grateful for our partners who share a common purpose and community spirit to connect more individuals with critical humanitarian support. And our financial supporters allow the Red Cross to deliver emergency relief 24/7, 365 days a year.

A final word of thanks to our first responders – police, fire and emergency medical services – who we are proud to support as they protect and assist our communities every day.

Jose Dominguez, Mineola

The writer is CEO of American Red Cross on Long Island.

Inflation affects some more than others

Inflation by no means is a small price to pay, especially for the dispossessed, who are disproportionately victims of inflation ["Inflation a small price to pay," Letters, Nov. 21]. For people with assets, small inflationary pressures elevate prices of what they own. The dispossessed don't have that luxury. They suffer from price increases in rent, food, energy, etc., which are life essentials.

The dollar's purchasing power is diminished greatly by inflation, and this increases prices on goods. Unfortunately, people living week to week are forced to sacrifice necessities.  

Currently, we have excess demand creating supply shortages because more money is chasing fewer goods. The labor force participation rate is low with many having left the workforce, which isn't reflected in the unemployment rate. Newsday is correct in making inflation front-page news. Inflation is not to be taken lightly and is hard to control.

Christopher Hanley, Rocky Point

Address health disparities with doctor diversity

The recent research from the Commonwealth Fund shows we must address the dramatic health care disparities faced by Black and Latino New Yorkers ["Disparities in health care," News, Nov. 18]. One tool we have is increasing diversity among our doctors, as outcomes are improved when patients receive care from doctors from similar racial and ethnic backgrounds.

The article cited disparities among infant mortality rates, and research has shown the mortality rate for Black babies is cut dramatically when Black doctors care for them after birth. But there are too few Black doctors to treat Black patients. Here in New York State, 34% of our population is Black or Hispanic, yet only 13% of our practicing doctors represent those communities.

To increase diversity among doctors, we must address the systemic obstacles to medical school, including financial, academic, and social barriers. Pipeline programs and scholarships for students from underrepresented backgrounds are successful in supporting aspiring doctors to become physicians, and should be expanded to meet our state’s needs.

Jo Wiederhorn, Norwalk, Conn.  

The writer is president and CEO of Associated Medical Schools of New York.

Main reason Democrats lost in Nassau County

Your recent two-page article containing all the excuses for the Democratic Party’s loss in Nassau County and elsewhere could be condensed to one word: "Biden" ["Why Curran, other Dems, lost in Nassau," News, Nov. 21].

Frank J. Donohue, Riverhead

Pricey UBS parking sounds wrong note

It's good news that Long Island has a beautiful, new UBS Arena ["Pucks drops here as arena opens," News, Nov. 19]. But why are the parking fees so egregious? My ticket for the Trans- Siberian Orchestra show cost $79.50, but the parking cost an additional $45, more than half the amount of my ticket. It seems that many venues charge outrageous parking fees, with Nassau Coliseum and the Long Island Community Hospital Amphitheater at Bald Hill in Farmingville being among the worst. It is unfair to charge such high fees on top of a high-priced ticket.

Barry Bernstein, Port Jefferson Station