On Dec. 28, Democrat Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut tweeted the following: “Our warnings have proved sadly prescient and continuously compelling. Time for CDC and cruise lines to protect consumers and again pause — docking their ships. Cruises are repeating recent history as petri dishes of COVID infection.”

What a laugh — the “spike” in cases on cruise ships represented a 0.2 percent positivity rate of the millions of passengers that have traveled recently; and none of them have been hospitalized. I was on a cruise out of Galveston in December and every passenger of an appropriate age was required to show proof of vaccination; and everyone was tested before being allowed to board.

On board the cruise, social distancing and masking was required at indoor functions. As a final note, the cruise capacity was severely reduced enabling greater social distancing.

If the senator and his Democratic colleagues are really interested in “protecting the consumer,” I suggest they look elsewhere. First, let’s fix the situation at our borders. There are laws in place to permit the legal entry of new citizens. Let’s adhere to those, and if you want to change them, bring forth a bill that can pass. The current abdication by Congress is pathetic.

Second, wake up to the dumpster fires that are cities like Portland, Los Angeles and Chicago, where there are either nightly riots, drug addict encampments threatening passersby and local businesses or multiple murders every night. In Chicago alone, there were more than two homicides on average per day in 2021 and nearly 10 shooting incidents daily. Perhaps defunding the police is a bad idea.

Third, join Sen. Joe Manchin in ditching the Build Back Better Bill. This cash bonanza comes out of our pockets and burdens all future generations with insurmountable debt sending on us down a path of socialist misery. It will severely limit the options we have as a nation if a real emergency arises.

We’re already losing military ground to Russia and China who are seemingly testing our resolve at every corner. If China does invade Taiwan (hypersonic missiles may just tip the balance), good luck getting the chips we need for our autos, phones, servers and who knows what else. Even if we could get them, the monopoly pricing would be hobbling.

Fourth, dispense with congressional health care and force all government employees to sign up for the same sort of health care that regular citizens “enjoy” or provide us those same benefits. Here’s an excerpt from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: “The FEHB Program can help you and your family meet your health care needs. Federal employees, retirees and their survivors enjoy the widest selection of health plans in the country.”

Like many Democrats, Blumenthal believes that government is the answer to everything. However, they believe it’s most useful in controlling our lives and improving their own — not protecting our rights as the Constitution intended.

Stephen D. Gray lives in Galveston.

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Emilio Nicolas

I can agree with some of what you write, but am always in a quandary when Republican's mention Health Care. You write "or provide us those same benefits" in reference to Congressional health plans. I want to know what happened to the "better and cheaper" health care Trump promised when he had majorities in the Congress.

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