John Balentine got one thing right (a new personal record for him) in the COVID lockdown story that points to the media’s failings (“Here’s Something: COVID lockdown story points to media’s failings,” Feb. 9).

He’s right, I hadn’t heard of the explosive relevance of a Johns Hopkins study disproving the effectiveness of vaccines and masking. Not because “legacy media” was burying important medical research, but rather that the “study” was not out of Johns Hopkins medical or epidemiology sections.

The lead author of the non-peer-reviewed paper is  Steve H. Hanke, Ph.D., a professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University and a senior fellow at the American libertarian think tank, the Cato Institute. No surprise that the paper gave us an economic meta-analysis, not a medical view. No medical expertise and very much a political agenda. The authors are conservative economists, not epidemiologists.

In point of fact, countries that have followed the existing scientific evidence, such as New Zealand, Taiwan and South Korea, have had fewer deaths and hospitalizations than countries that have frequently veered away from the science, such as the U.S., the U.K. and Brazil.

But we ought to temper our acceptance of “news” offered by Trump supporters and conservatives in general. They show more interest in the economy and money than they do in preserving human lives.

Richard Bennett