Wilhelm is right in call for national service

To the Editor: Rep. Matt Wilhelm had it just right in his op-ed of May 5. This is clearly the time for the national service that America has called for since JFK’s early dream of 100,000 Peace Corps volunteers, now needed right here and across the USA.

Tragically, President Donald Trump has reduced our once great country to Third World status needing help from China, Korea, Germany, and Doctors without Borders. The U.S. and the world are facing a perfect storm with COVID-19 trashing the global economy, killing hundreds of thousands, putting millions out of work and driving them into poverty.

Against this tragedy, Wilhelm, several U.S. senators, General Stanley A. McCrystal, and many others are turning tragedy into an extraordinary opportunity for putting thousands of unemployed to work to help stop the coronavirus pandemic with a massive program of testing and tracking. And national service need not stop there. Post COVID-19, there will be enormous needs for addressing poverty, public health, the opioid crisis, environmental degradation, and climate change. Here’s the action needed to turn this disaster into fresh hope for a renewed national spirit of service honoring our better angels.

MALCOLM J. ODELL Jr.

South Hampton

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
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