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Forum, Oct. 13: Vaccine resister article a disservice to public

Published: 10/12/2021 10:00:05 PM
Modified: 10/12/2021 10:00:11 PM
Vaccine resister article a disservice to public

I was horrified to see a vaccine-resister grace the front page of the Sunday Valley News (“ ‘A blessing in disguise’: Claremont woman quit job at DHMC to avoid COVID vaccination,” Oct. 10).

The article presented nothing that was new or noteworthy, and by providing a forum for the expression of anti-scientific views about the vaccine, the article did a disservice to the public.

I routinely see my health care team at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center due to a chronic condition, and I expect that all the physicians and staff in the facility, regardless of whether they have direct patient contact or not, will be vaccinated. Otherwise, they present a threat to spread the virus to their colleagues, patients, families and the community at large.

Tens of millions of people in the U.S. have received one or another of the COVID-19 vaccines, and they have proven safe and effective with very few serious side effects. Sadly, thanks to people who refuse to get vaccinated, COVID-19 continues to rage across the country, and with each new infection there is the risk that the virus will mutate into a variant that is capable of evading the currently available vaccines.

If the Valley News wants to serve the public regarding the pandemic, I suggest that next Sunday the paper include a front-page article on the basics of immunology and how the COVID-19 vaccines were developed and tested.



There are 13,000 other articles to write

Given that the Sunday Valley News devoted a front-page article to one part-time employee who resigned her position at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center instead of receiving a safe and free COVID-19 vaccination (“ ‘A blessing in disguise’,” Oct. 10), I look forward to reading 13,000 more front-page articles about the DHMC employees who did choose to protect themselves, their patients and their community.



Highlighting an outlier, ignoring the real story

The Sunday Valley News article “A Blessing in Disguise” (Oct. 10) inadvertently functions as Donald Trump campaign ad on the front page, ignoring the real story to highlight a single case of contrarianism.

Out of 13,000 Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center employees, more than 99% have been vaccinated or received an exemption. Yet the Valley News foregrounds one outlier instead of asking why DHMC’s vaccine mandate worked so well. The voices of vaccine resisters are news, yes, but this article amplifies the voice of one and neglects the many. In doing so, the newspaper propagates the misleading impression that vaccine resisters are a part of a growing trend. They’re not.

Meanwhile, politicians such as Trump, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are making hay out of such wildly imbalanced stories when they filter up to national media, using them to suggest — inaccurately — that vaccine mandates are both tyrannical and a failure and that employees are rejecting vaccination en masse. I understand why Fox News plays along. But why the Valley News — in my opinion one of the best small newspapers in the U.S. — would end up contributing to this dangerous misperception is beyond me. There’s a better, truer story to be told.



Sunday story amplified vaccine misinformation

Recently, the Valley News has devoted a surprising number of front-page column inches to articles about those who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19. In doing so, the newspaper has amplified the misinformation that forms the basis for their poor decision-making. Why? Surely the Valley News could cover the countless health care professionals at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and elsewhere who are committed to protecting themselves and others from preventable disease.

Denying science has consequences. In this case, they can be deadly. Would the Valley News spend so much ink on folks who defy nonsmoking regulations or won’t wear seat belts? Idiocy isn’t news. It’s just sad.



Matt Mooshian is genuine and honest

It is my pleasure to support Matt Mooshian as he runs for an at-large seat on the Claremont City Council. This is a very easy decision for me to make. I have worked with and known him for many years through many activities in the Claremont community. He is a genuine and honest human being who wants to improve the lives of others in the community. He has on-the-ground experience with people in need in this community. I trust that, if elected to the City Council, he will use that experience, along with common sense and dedication to science, in order to make decisions. Bottom line: I trust Matt Mooshian.



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