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Letters to the Editor

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Avoid buying products made in China

To the Editor:

The PEF Membership Benefits Program recently purchased and distributed part-cotton cloth face masks manufactured in China.  Sadly, in its beneficial economic effect, this purchase helps China to maintain its persecution of Uyghur and other ethnic groups who live there.  Notably, this persecution includes forced labor in the production of cotton and apparel items.

PEF’s purchase similarly helps China speed its overthrow of neighboring regimes in Taiwan and HongKong. People of these states are trying to preserve their independence and human rights in the face of chauvinistic Chinese expansionism. It’s not a secret that China is tailoring its military to be better able to fight United States forces, if we come to the aid of a Taiwanese people hoping to remain free.

While I can believe that PEF’s misguided mask purchase was likely done innocently, and with good intentions for members’ health, I think it’s important in retrospect that PEF makes a clear statement to dispel any suggestion that it condones buying from China, other than in cases of significant duress.


Editor’s note:  The PEF Membership Benefits Program (MBP) purchased 60,000 masks in the summer of 2020 for delivery to active members at the end of the year.  At the time, MBP could not source enough three-ply masks in the United States. Only one- or two-ply masks were available due to high demand for the safer three-ply masks.  MBP always tries to buy items made in the USA and only brings USA-made products to membership meetings. This was a limited exception during the pandemic, driven by health and safety concerns.

Medicare should be his co-pay

To the Editor:

I am a (retiree with) Medicare first, Empire Plan second. I keep track of co-pays and I pay more in co-pays than my Empire Plan insurance pays in benefits.

I believe there should not be any co-pays for retirees, since Medicare pays first and that payment should be considered the co-pay.



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