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Letter: Disinformation slows down the coronavirus fight - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Letter: Disinformation slows down the coronavirus fight - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Letter: Disinformation slows down the coronavirus fight

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NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2021, file photo, a health worker administers a dose of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading, Pa. On Friday, Oct. 8, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly claiming newly leaked emails among Pfizer employees show that the company’s COVID-19 vaccine contains fetal cells. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Matt Rourke

As a child in the 1950s, I was forbidden from swimming in a public pool due to fear of contracting polio. When the vaccine became available, we seized the opportunity to receive the shot. Politicization and disinformation were vacant from public discourse.

Today, 6.3 billion life-saving coronavirus vaccines have been administered worldwide. Rather than trusting safe vaccines, a growing misguided fringe is entrusting quackery for coronavirus treatments. In an oft-cited Australian study, the livestock dewormer ivermectin was found to kill the virus, but the doses were too dangerous for humans. Furthermore, results of an Egyptian study of ivermectin for patients with the coronavirus were ultimately debunked and retracted. Although approved for humans for lice and rosacea, ivermectin can cause vomiting, seizures, coma and death when used inappropriately.

The nation’s 55 poison control centers indicated that this frenzy, driven by conservative talk-show and podcast hosts, created a 245% uptick of ivermectin toxicity cases between July and August. Apparently, some folks would rather ingest this risky substance over receiving the scrutinized, monitored and FDA-approved vaccine.

The more than 700,000 people lost to the coronavirus probably would have chosen the vaccine with the same urgency as did folks living through the 1950s polio epidemic. Together as a nation, we must nix disinformation and use insight and foresight to defeat the beast.

Doris Schwartz • Chesterfield

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