Medical school merits support
Although there is a need for exploratory discussion and civil debate on city budgets, it was with chagrin and incredulity that I read that during a City Council meeting, Edinburg Councilman Gilbert Enriquez entertained the idea to axe the annual contribution to the UTRGV Medical School. It was also reported that Councilman Jorge Salinas agreed and stated that these millions of contribution dollars were unnecessary.
Budgets are essential and staying within the budget is also essential, especially during our pandemic times; however, as someone who has been educated in the Rio Grande Valley as well as taught science here as a result of this education, I fear that today’s dollars and cents of a balance sheet would never be able to equate to the long-term health and education of our community.
What have our contributions to UTRGV Med School through our tax money already secured? According to Veronica Gonzalez, UTRGV vice president who defended the contribution from Edinburg at a later Edinburg meeting:
• More than 1,000 faculty and staff members hired and 221 enrollment and graduated in its fist class.
• Opened several medical clinics in Edinburg.
• Set up a COVID-19 lab for testing and drive-thru sites that are still operating, and the lab can give results in 24 hours.
• Contract tracers for the coronavirus have also been hired.
Nowhere will our tax money be spent better and receive higher dividends and long-term rewards than in the continued support of the UTRGV Medical School through the annual donations as promised from all the RGV cities. Our local cities as Edinburg have already contracted their support with a memorandum for 10 years, and we should stay committed as the current pandemic has proven that investment to be sound investment.
Hoping for other rallies
I read about the area rallies in support of the guy convicted of running a fake university con; convicted of using a fake charity to pay for his legal bills and a fulllength portrait of himself; putting terrified little Mexican kids in cages and losing track of their parents; being accused of multiple sexual assaults; stirring up racial hatred and violence nationwide; gassing peaceful protesters to create a photo op holding up a bible to dupe credulous evangelicals; asking the U.S. Supreme Court to end health care for 20 million people; being personally responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people by lying about the pandemic; etc. Yeah, that guy.
Hope soon to read about rallies in support of his victims.
The New York Times recently ran an extensive story exposing the state of Texas’ incredibly flawed systems in place to track and report COVID-19 deaths. Essentially, the evidence shows that because of an archaic system that varies from one county to another, we are not provided accurate information about the number of COVID-19 cases, the number of deaths and the manner in which the various health departments classify a COVID-19 death.
Why does it matter? Whom can we trust? Certainly we cannot trust a president who lies with impunity. Can we trust our county officials? Our school board members?
Why does it matter whom we trust? Simple. Life-and-death decisions will be made on the basis of the information provided to school boards, superintendents and elected officials. The lives of our children, our teachers, our janitors, our cooks and all the human beings who perform essential functions in our schools and businesses will be based on the information provided.
If Hidalgo County alone has more than 800,000 residents (probably another 200,000 undocumented), my question to the county judge is this: Have 10% of those 800,000 been tested? If not, how can you know that the transmission rate has, in fact, dropped? Business is essential, but there will be no business if we continue to die at alarming rates.
I realize that politically the Valley is considered a Democratic stronghold, and that we are primarily Hispanic, and thus expendable.
I ask: Will you discharge your oath to the people of this county to enact policy based on facts and not fairy tales and partisan advantage? Can I trust you to do that?
Trump good to minorities
In the Sept. 13 letters Jesus Rodriguez says President Trump has not done a thing for minorities. I summit the following for his consideration.
1. Up until the onset of the pandemic, the unemployment rate for Hispanics and African Americans was at the lowest point in American history.
2. In his first year in office, Trump restructured the income tax rate so that most middle-class working Americans got an extra $1,000 in their pocket.
3. Last year he doubled the personal exemption on your income tax by raising it from $6,000 to $12,000 per person.
4. Trump also signed a bill so that you and your spouse would receive a check of $1,200 each as a stimulus to help you out during this national emergency.
Guadalupe E. Aguirre