Reader's View: Don’t perpetuate COVID-19 misinformation
We are writing to express our dismay and disappointment in the News Tribune for publishing the Jan. 15 letter, “ Remove masks, let virus die on its own ,” which presented false speculation about vaccinations worsening the COVID-19 epidemic.
Our greater community does not need to have incorrect, unfounded information perpetuated under any circumstance or in any venue. Our hospitals — both in Duluth and, more importantly, in the surrounding rural areas — are over capacity. The staff of those critical access hospitals are providing crisis care to patients who are far sicker than the usual scope of their practices. Often there are no larger hospitals with the capacity to accept the very sick rural residents. This is a dire situation for these rural health care providers that does not get enough public recognition. The intense stress, guilt, and worry of being forced to care for patients who are far more ill than their usual experience and local resources can handle cannot be described to someone who does not walk in those shoes.
Just as social media has been held to a standard to filter out this type of harmful COVID-19 disinformation, we expect the News Tribune would hold itself to as high a standard. As reported to the U.S. Senate the week of Jan. 10, surveillance studies confirm unvaccinated people are 20 times likelier to die, 17 times likelier to be hospitalized, and 10 times likelier to be infected than those vaccinated.
We urge the newspaper to publish a retraction and proper information for readers. We look to the paper for fair, accurate, and timely reporting of events in our communities.
Dr. Lisa S. Prusak and Dr. Mary (Daisy) Braaten
Readers' View and Local Views
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