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Americans — when we can, we help others in need

We Americans have paid a high price for not stockpiling enough medical equipment and personal protective devices to cope with the COVID-19 onslaught. As of Friday, more than 62,000 people had died in this country from the coronavirus. But here, some states seem to have begun flattening that statistical curve you read so much about. A few are relaxing personal and business restrictions, including in our region.

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

We need to remember what “normal” looks like for us as 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. So far, it has killed more than 230,000 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 in different lines of work 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.

We have done it, to the point that some states where the COVID-19 crisis seems to have peaked have shipped equipment such as ventilators to others where it is needed more.

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

COVID-19 is taking terrible tolls in many parts of the globe. U.S. health care materials and equipment can save lives there.

Of course, we need to ensure domestic requirements are satisfied first. But once 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.

Shipments of such assistance should be rushed to wherever they are needed most urgently, using our military’s incredible carrying capacity.

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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