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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Sorry, billionaires; coronavirus will make some of you mere millionaires

Tilman Fertitta, seen in 2005, has expressed concern that his companies are "doing basically no business" during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tilman Fertitta, seen in 2005, has expressed concern that his companies are “doing basically no business” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

To the editor: The stunning and callous remarks by the three billionaires featured in this article, especially payroll processing firm founder Tom Golisano, illustrate the level of entitlement and privilege these people enjoy as well as the contempt they have for the average American worker.

None of those wanting to restart the economy, of course, suggested he would put himself or his own loved ones at risk of contracting COVID-19. Rather they wallow in despair about losing their own enormous fortunes. Poor Tilman Fertitta is wringing his hands that he may lose a portion of his $3.2-billion fortune if Golden Nugget casinos and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. cannot soon reopen.

Guess what? Americans could not care less. This is not their primary concern at the moment.

I suggest this alternative to Golisano’s point of view: “The damages of keeping the economy closed as it is to save thousands of American lives is a risk worth taking, even if we lose a few more billionaires along the way.”

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Jim Cronin, Rancho Cucamonga

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To the editor: While I appreciate that this article exposed these billionaire businessmen for who they are — soulless men who are willing to sacrifice their employees to enhance their own accumulation of capital — I was disappointed it did not ask the crucial question.

That is, are each of these men willing to be the first to work on the front lines of their own businesses and take on the risks that they ask of their employees?

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Put simply, is Fertitta ready to serve up some Bubba Gump shrimp to the masses to make sure his billions don’t become millions in our collective effort to save lives?

Mona Lynch, Laguna Beach

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To the editor: I noticed that Golisano, smoking a cigar on his patio in Florida, declared, “The damages of keeping the economy closed as it is could be worse than losing a few more people.”

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Does he have anyone in particular in mind?

Contrast that “let them eat cake” attitude with the countless stories of kindness, caring and heroism that abound these days. Tough times really do bring out the best and the worst among us.

Andrea Burrell, Huntington Beach

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To the editor: Some are proposing that the people most vulnerable to COVID-19 be sequestered and monitored so the rest of the country can resume going to work.

According to another article in the L.A. Times, in Madrid, several people were found dead in their beds in a nursing home for the elderly. Apparently they had been abandoned and left to die. Bodies were found at other nursing homes.

Segregating certain parts of the population while life goes on as before for others would have to be handled very carefully. Too much is at stake.

Marta Duran, Claremont

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To the editor: So, it’s OK for some of us older than 65 (and others) to be sacrificed for the economy? Out of sheer moral indignation I think there will be plenty of the “expendables” left to vote.

Katrin Wiese, Rialto

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To the editor: For some billionaires to place their economic bottom lines above the lives of their fellow Americans shows they have no regard for those who are in danger losing their lives to this virus.

Thank God we have billionaires like Bill Gates and his wife, who have pledged to donate more than $100 million to fight this pandemic. They have the true American spirit.

Mike Lockridge, Mission Viejo


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