Letter to the Editor: Science is better left to the scientists

Published 6:21 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2021

I’m responding to the Dec. 13 Betsy Singer interview with Rep. Peggy Bennett on the KAAL-TV evening news. The letter authored by Bennett and signed by 38 House members to the Mayo Clinic is unfortunate. Here is why I believe this:

The problem of personal vaccination resistance is too often based on politics not facts as determined through science (testing, observation and recording data/facts).

Religious exclusions are questionable as a societal public health policy. Public health must override personal beliefs. If our society is to continue we can not have individual people/freedom transmitting the disease and disseminating it throughout the wider society. Health care workers must be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

I wonder if the religious objectors had any of these vaccinations or inoculations such as smallpox, polio, measles, whooping cough, diphtheria, antibiotics, radiation, cholera, TB, shingles, etc, etc. If so … at what point in their lives did those people’s religion begin to reply.

Yes, even vaccinated people have the potential to communicate/spread this viral infection. The main point to understand is that the rate of communication is vastly reduced … 40-50% less transmission according to a Oct. 29, 2021 Lancet article based on alpha and delta variant studies. That is meaningful. It is not perfect, but since we are biological in nature almost everything is based on a bell curve. All the more reason to wear a mask, not for yourself but for others.

If we would have accepted the vaccine at the start of the pandemic and been vaccinated at 65-75%, we as a community/society would have stopped the alpha variant. We missed that opportunity and as a result the virus was able to mutate to the delta version, which was more transmittable. At that time we needed 85-90% vaccinated. Still, society was not able to grasp teh situation and too many continued to refuse the vaccine. The virus continued to mutate and now we have the omicron variant that is even more contagious, or so it seems at this early point.

Thank God the virulence has not increased … yet. That could change as quickly as the very next mutation. We can not, must not, wait any longer and get vaccinated now. It is impossible that instead of killing 1% of the aged population, the next variant could kill 40%. What age group will be targeted next? Only the virus knows. It keeps searching for hosts to infect.

Please stop resisting public health matters and help our society end the pandemic. Leave the science to the scientists. Mayo knows more about this pandemic than politicians. Follow and promote their leadership, don’t resist it.

Jim Burroughs

Austin, MN