To The Editor:

In view of the sacrifices Vermonters continue to make to prevent a widespread COVID-19 outbreak, I was disappointed by the publication of last week's op-ed submission by John Gallagher (headlined "What is really going on?") claiming without evidence that the virus is no big deal. The writer did not cite any medical, research or health care organization that shares his view that the pandemic's casualty count is "overblown worldwide," and that measures like Vermont's to limit the spread have served "no purpose except for destroying people's lives and businesses." And well over 100,000 deaths are not a crisis because many of the victims were elderly?

The Valley Reporter did not tell readers what credentials Gallagher may have for analyzing life-and-death health issues, and the primary sources he cited were little-known websites. One Canadian site he mentioned features 9/11 conspiracies and calls the current pandemic "an act of economic warfare against humanity" for purposes of "global economic restructuring." So, if you believe that the Bush administration and the CIA staged 9/11 by planting explosives in the World Trade Center, then do not worry about catching COVID-19. Good outside contributor op-eds (so-called because they run opposite the editorial page) provide a forum for those with particular insight or expertise to expand readers' understanding of current issues. This one appeared to be a random person's point of view presented as fact.

Randy Wynn

Silver Spring, MD