Role of paper questioned when lies published

November 19, 2020

In Geary Foertsch’ Oct. 9 letter to the editor he states, “according to the CDC, of the alleged 200,000 Americans killed by COVID, only 9,000 actually were. The remaining 94 percent had 2.6 co-morbidities that in fact killed them.”  I’m an active person over 65 who has a-fib and Type 2 diabetes. That’s three co-morbidities. ‘In fact,’ if I get COVID-19 and die, it’s the virus that killed me.

In his Nov. 10 commentary, Foertsch contends, “we never get the true picture of what’s going on with the COVID-19 virus from the medical community.” He offers examples, including this quote from CDC Director Robert Redfield: “We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID. We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose… than we are seeing from COVID.”

Anyone reading this quote has to be suspicious. A quick search shows that Dr. Redfield was being interviewed about school closures. He was referencing suicides among teenagers and discussing how “previously existing issues are becoming an even bigger problem for young people.”

Foertsch’ views of COVID-19 are clear. He has the right to them and to submit opinion pieces expressing them.

But what is this paper’s responsibility when a person submits an opinion piece that distorts the facts and context? When the misinformation and lies of omission are obvious?  

The American Society of Newspaper Editors Code of Ethics states, “Editorials, analytical articles and commentary should be held to the same standards of accuracy with respect to facts as news reports. Significant errors of fact, as well as errors of omission, should be corrected promptly and prominently.” The editorial page of this paper states: “We exercise the right to edit [letters] for content and length.” Is it time to exercise that right?

Joanne Cabry
Rehoboth Beach
  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

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