Letter – Shaky source on COVID-19

Published 3:37 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Editor, Smithfield Times:

I read the letter to the editor “Need all facts on COVID shots” (June 7) with great interest as I had been part of the V-SAFE reporting for the past two years. 

I was curious about the first point made (“zero healthy individuals under the age of 50 have died in Israel … .”). I also did not recognize the citation sources, so I set out to find them as well. Here is what 10 minutes of research found: The “zero healthy…under 50 have died” is false, according to the Associated Press journalist who reported on the story on June 6. The report states that “the Ministry does not know how many ‘healthy’ people – those without underlying conditions – between the ages of 18 and 49 died of COVID-19 because its data on previous medical conditions is incomplete. However, records show that in Israel the virus has killed at least 356 people in that age group.” A good article worth reading.

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I then looked up “theepochtimes” source. Hmmm. Owned by Epoch Media Group, described by the New York Times in an Oct. 24, 2020, article as “a far-right international multi-language newspaper and media company affiliated with the Falun Gong new religious movement” that since 2016 “has used aggressive Facebook tactics and right-wing misinformation to create an anti-China, pro-Trump empire.” 

And, not being surprised, the “I can decide” site is “Informed Consent Action Network” and one of the main anti-vaccination groups in the United States. Needless to say, the rest of the article is quoting these sources. Unfortunately, the original articles in the writer’s letter are a rehash of a debunked set of topics. Rather than believe or quote what social media reports, look to your family doctor, science and facts to address medical concerns rather than let social media control your thinking.


Lehan Crane