Letter to the Editor: Opinion over fact 

To the Editor: 

I feel compelled to respond to Pete Earl’s offensive and wrong letter “the new face of war” in last week’s issue. Pete’s sentiment that we should work together to overcome coronavirus is a good thing, but the inaccurate armchair speculation about this virus being made in a Chinese lab is wildly disrespectful to the 110,000 Americans who have lost their lives so far; to the nearly 2 million Americans infected so far; and to the hard-working health care staff and epidemiologists working to stem the tide on our behalf. 

Those epidemiologists and scientists, who have made study and treatment of infectious disease their life’s work, have repeatedly told us that this virus is natural and not human-created. The research is there for anyone who wants to read it. Yet Pete comes in with an argument from ignorance and claims that the opposite is “obvious” due to nebulous “features.”  
What’s worse, this letter comes in the middle of a crisis of racism in this country. Our leaders have repeated this same conspiracy theory to pass the buck from their own failures, and the first time they did there was a spike in hate crimes against Asian-Americans. In that context, the editors of the Islander are negligent for uncritically publishing Pete’s speculations. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but they are not entitled to see their factually wrong opinions in print where they can mislead others. 





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