Letter: The danger of mistruths

A letter in last week’s Feedback section entitled “The hidden history of vaccines” (HV1: July 28) is making my head spin. Among the letter’s many dubious assertions, I find one particular unsourced mistruth beyond disturbing:

As of last Friday, the COVID vaccines has [sic] injured almost 500,000 people and suspected of killing 11,000 people [sic].

The writer continues, citing an organization called American Frontline Doctors, to say the number of supposed deaths is actually five-fold that number. As a side note, American Frontline Doctors is a group founded by Dr. Simone Gold, currently awaiting trial for her part in the January 6 insurrection.

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But my anger at the writer’s myriad of mistruths is not the point of my letter to you. The purpose of my letter is to express my unmitigated (no, grave) disappointment with Hudson Valley One for publishing that letter in the first place. I know any publication needs to weigh its responsibility to reflect what might be an unpopular opinion while it considers the dangers of anything resembling censorship, but Hudson Valley One has chosen to publish irresponsible, inaccurate, unproven misinformation that could very well endanger the health and even the lives of some of its readership.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s now famous quote: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts” could not ring truer. Certainly if I submit a letter proclaiming that COVID vaccines have also cured cancer and diabetes, that letter would and should be rejected for publication. It cannot be understated that a letter based on non-facts and assertions from the completely discredited American Frontline Doctors poses a direct threat to the health and well-being of the entire community served by HV1 and brings in to question where a newspaper might, on occasion, need to draw the line.

Mark Rosen
Gardiner


The views and opinions expressed in our letters section are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Hudson Valley One. You can submit a letter to the editor here.