I believe our country can overcome its many divisions if we all share the same true information. Misinformation is a collection of falsehoods, fear based beliefs and unsupported opinions. In the case of COVID vaccinations, these untruths are causing unnecessary deaths.
I understand how all of us somewhat resent our need to rely on experts when we really would rather be independent. Unfortunately, the world has become too complex for us to repair or even understand much of the machinery and systems we depend on. In medicine, specialization has occurred within my lifetime and is the result of increased complex knowledge. Infectious disease is one particular specialty our society really needs now that an epidemic threatens everyone. It is disheartening to see opinions of celebrity nonexperts given space in both social and print media alongside those with true expertise.
By the way, it takes just as many years to acquire training and certification in this field as it does for cardiology or nephrology as well as other medical specialties.
The recent column by Michael Reagan printed in The News Virginian on July 17, 2021, is an example of such vaccine misinformation, which is potentially not only harmful, but could even be fatal to some of your readers.
Stephen Howlett, MD
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