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It’s what we do

We Americans have paid a high price — more than 52,258 deaths as of Tuesday — for not stockpiling enough medical equipment and personal protective devices to cope with the COVID-19 onslaught. But here, some states seem to have begun flattening that a statistical curve you read so much about. A few are relaxing personal and business restrictions.

What now? Do we just begin the process of getting back to “normal?”

We can’t do that. We are Americans. We are renowned for rushing to the aid of those in other countries during their times of need.

COVID-19 has become a crisis throughout the world. By Tuesday, it had killed more than 214,000 people in scores of other countries. Many of them lack the industrial infrastructure we enjoy that has mobilized to meet the coronavirus crisis.

Throughout our nation, companies that specialized in manufacturing everything from chemical sanitizers to medical ventilators have increased production dramatically. Other firms have converted production lines to turn out the self-defense products we need.

Americans have resurrected a slogan used during World War II to increase output of critical materials: We can do it.

At some point, perhaps very soon, we need to remember another aspect of our heritage. It is helping other throughout the world.

Of course, we need to ensure domestic requirements are satisfied first. But one that is done, we Americans should be rushing aid to others, as we did after both world wars, when food and fuel shipment from here saved millions of lives overseas.

Will such aid earn us any new friends in the world? Probably not, but that is not the point.

It is simply that when we can, we help others in need. We’re Americans.

That’s what we do.

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