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Letters to the Editor: Wealth inequality is on display for all to see during the coronavirus crisis

To the editor: It hardly seems a mere coincidence that two articles on the same front page of the May 2 California section described such diametrically different aspects of the current financial situation.

One described many private schools with healthy endowments receiving financial payouts from the federal Paycheck Protection Program. These are schools where tuition costs tens of thousands of dollars per year.

Some schools did not request support, and others have been shamed into returning their checks, but that still leaves many of the small businesses the program was designed to support without a dime.

In contrast, columnist Nita Lelyveld wrote about the desperate pleas for help on GoFundMe.com from people too ashamed to tell family and friends how dire their situations are. The closing statement ties the two articles together: “So you cry out in the dark and hope somebody, somewhere is listening.”

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Margaret Gascoigne, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Elite private schools with endowments — like the one Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin’s kids attend in Brentwood — have somehow received coronavirus relief funds. President Trump and Mnuchin suggested they “should consider returning the money,” which the Brentwood School did.

The government watchdog who was to prevent waste, abuse and mismanagement of these funds, Defense Department acting Inspector General Glenn Fine, was abruptly fired by Trump in early April, and the decisions of where to direct funds are being made by the U.S. Treasury, headed by Mnuchin.

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Is anyone interested in knowing who is really pulling the strings on this latest and greatest taxpayer giveaway?

June Maguire, Mission Viejo

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To the editor: Trump and Mnuchin designed the aid programs and are responsible for the inadequate oversight.

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They can enjoy the headlines they get for criticizing the very private schools that their own children attend, but the truth is that the programs are rife with questionable spending, for which they are responsible.

Norman H. Green, Los Angeles


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