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WTVM Editorial 8/3/21: Viewers Respond - COVID Numbers

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 2:35 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - My editorial last week in which I cited the actual numbers of COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to the latest variant resulted in a variety of heartfelt responses from viewers.

In case you missed it, I cited actual CDC numbers, which show that the number of positive cases may be growing quickly, but hospitalizations and thankfully, deaths, are not. As I sit here in the studio, there are 86,000 positive cases tracked by the CDC and 397 deaths -- in the entire country of 350 million people.

I never would minimize any death or illness and I believe in the effectiveness of vaccines for most people.

But the so-called surge of the Delta variant remains 91.4-percent lower than the deadliest day for COVID which was January 19, 2021.

Still, some viewers took me to task for suggesting we need to have some perspective, because they feel that hurts the fight against COVID.

A viewer wrote “Shame on you putting your opinion in on numbers about COVID. With your kind of comments, we will never be out of this.”

Another viewer who disliked my attempt to inject reality into how the numbers are reported, said this: “You leaned way over the line and advocated not getting the COVID shots. True, you did not say it aloud but your words painted that picture.”

That opinion was shared by another viewer who wrote: “Vaccinations are highly effective and very low risk. You should be encouraging these things not minimizing them.”

I replied to these emails that I never have and never would discourage vaccines. I’ve done several editorials highlighting the miracle that was the speedy creation of these vaccines in under a year’s time!

And I got my vaccine as soon as possible.

Then there was this email: “Thank you for your editorial on the numbers and the Delta variant. It was refreshing to see the media put things in an honest perspective rather than pulling the fire alarm!”

Another viewer wrote, “Thank you for being courageous enough to share the common sense approach and provide actual statistics.”

Finally, a viewer shared this opinion: “You chose to use your platform to tell your audience that COVID-19 is being overblown.”

I’ve always said COVID is deadly serious, especially for the elderly and those with multiple health problems.

But when it comes to the facts about COVID, it’s clear that numbers can be manipulated, unless those numbers are understood in context.

As always, I sincerely appreciate all the viewers who took the time to share their concerns.

We all get smarter by listening to each other…something that is too rare these days.

But that’s the subject of another editorial!

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