Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:
I must take issue with Kevin Holten’s use of a New England Journal of Medicine quote to support his contention that those who wear masks do so because they suffer from some sort of paranoia or “generalized anxiety disorder” and that masking is neither a necessary nor effective means to hinder the spread of COVID-19. (Dispatch, April 27) The article he cited was published in the medical journal on May 21, 2020 — almost a year ago — and found its way to Facebook.
Mr. Holten correctly cited the paragraph but failed to mention that three of the five doctors he cites (Drs. Michael Klompas, Charles Morris and Erica Shenoy) immediately objected in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, that the article was being used “as support for discrediting wide-spread masking.” In fact they said the intent of their article was to push for more masking, not less. Mr. Holten’s failure to mention this leaves the reader with a distorted view of the truth. For the full story, go online to the New England Journal of Medicine: Universal Masking In the COVID-19 Era. Also check out the USA Today Fact Check article by Stephen Gruber-Miller (July 22, 2020).
To Mr. Holten’s point that we have an anxiety disorder in America, I agree, but that is a result of a pandemic of politicized and misleading information to which Mr. Holten contributed in his recent column. It makes sense to follow prudent steps recommended by the CDC and the medical establishment to safeguard the health of all against COVID-19. It also makes sense to be wary of columnists who, through intention or less than careful work, mask the truth.