Activity on Austin Avenue remains somnambulant as the COVID-19 crisis persists and businesses remain closed. 

How about tests, Waco?

Testing? The glaring inconsistencies and inequities in the national COVID-19 testing program are highlighted by the very modest number of tests done locally.

Why can we read and view the results from tests on nine tigers in the Bronx Zoo and the results of tests performed on New York City house cats? Did the tigers and cats report symptoms of COVID-19?

Fortunately, the tigers and cats did not live in Waco, where tests seem only available for those reporting symptoms with testing requiring approval of health agencies. I might survive with the knowledge that Wacoans are less important than tigers, but are our lives less significant than New York’s house cats?

Tom Oliver, Waco

Shop local

Regarding Mr. Scott’s opinion “Don’t pocket the cash” [Letters, April 23], I agree, in part, that we should not “pocket” the cash, but use it to stimulate our local economy. Many small and medium sized businesses have been devastated by this crisis.

In conjunction with wearing face masks and social distancing, America is asking each of us to further help in the recovery by supporting local merchants. When the economy finally reopens, many Americans who have been financially debilitated may not have the ability to spend their “stimulus” money. That’s okay, use it as needed. However, for those of us who have more modest setbacks, by all means, spend it. Our local economy will thank you.

Mr. Scott, your decision to donate to charity will always be a noble gesture. Thank you.

Brett Solem, Lorena

SNAP stimulus crucial

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the best tools our nation has to combat the coronavirus crisis.

Prior to this pandemic, more than 4 million Texans struggled with hunger. With jobs and wages lost, this number continues to rise and families are shouldering much of the burden.

In fact, Texas saw more than a million applications for unemployment benefits between March 15 and April 11 and SNAP applications for the months of March and April were twice as high this year.

SNAP is good at feeding people while also feeding our state’s economy. The benefit is placed on an electronic card for families to buy food at grocery stores and farmers markets. When this money is spent it leads to more jobs, wages and local economic activity in the community.

The best part? This happens almost immediately. The vast majority of families spend their benefits before the month ends because SNAP only supplements food budgets.

I urge Congress to increase SNAP benefits for families across the nation so we can help those in greatest need and give the country the economic stimulus it needs to weather this crisis.

Franco Cruz, San Antonio

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