“It’s like déjà vu all over again” when Mr. Balentine pretends to be a “so-called health expert” (“View virus stats with a raised eyebrow,” April 9). He writes “But skeptics are right to question the statistics put forth by so-called health experts … They’re the liars … (who) are using statistics to paralyze our state and nation with fear and dread.”

In the proper context, statistics, graphs, charts, tables and numbers are quite useful. As a biomedical scientist who has authored over 100 peer-reviewed papers in both American and European scientific journals, had one book published by Oxford University Press, was co-editor of six books/journals, I know first hand the value of specific and targeted facts to buttress conclusion(s) formulated by the scientific method.

However, it is the ultimate task of medical/scientific personnel to construct a simple set of recommendations based upon rigorous experimentation. Pursuant to the current COVID-19 pandemic, these recommendations are straightforward: wear a mask, practice social distancing, employ hand-washing hygiene and get vaccinated. Despite concern with COVID-19 variants, these rather simple recommendations are still valid. Even with enhancing the rate of vaccination, we must continue to utilize these effective techniques to control the spread of COVID-19.

Medical science is not perfect – findings evolve with time as more information becomes available and earlier conclusions are modified. As a scientist, I know this to be quite true: Sometimes the simplest approach to a problem is the best solution. Therefore, get vaccinated, wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands!

Do not trust these “so-called health experts” (i.e., Mr. Balentine, Tucker Carlson, etc.). Instead, simply trust your own common sense and perform your duty as a responsible citizen, i.e., get vaccinated and continue to employ the straightforward techniques noted above.

John M. Mishler
Harpswell