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Republicans, open your wallets

Just because it “sounds like a do-gooder program” doesn’t mean it is a bad idea (“RNC announces support for Bono’s poverty initiative,” Page 1, Friday).

I dispute Arizona Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen’s assertion that “relief around the world … [is] not the business of government.” A prime raison d’etre for government is to protect the security of its citizens. Inequality correlates with political instability, which contributes to threats against our security.

The realities on the ground of the developing word are that people “without boots” cannot pull themselves up by their bootstraps. They are ill with HIV/AIDS, which can be turned from a death sentence to a manageable chronic disease for about a dollar a day or, not treated, add to the estimated 12 million AIDS orphans in sub-Saharan Africa.

They have uncomplicated tuberculosis, which can be cured with $16 in medications or, untreated, can appear in America and be treated for hundreds of thousand of dollars.

Their children have malaria, which takes a child under age 5 at a rate of one every 30 seconds. If they don’t die, they are chronically anemic or disabled by cerebral malaria. A $5 insecticide-treated bed net can keep the biting mosquito at bay.

We cannot afford to let this become part of the partisan squabbles. Whether you are better persuaded by “do-gooder” arguments or “homeland security” arguments, we must come together and realize that it is in our own best interest to recognize and address the plight of half the global population existing on less than $2 a day.

DR. LARRY DONOHUE

Seattle