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Following science will lead to answers

DEAR EDITOR:

I was disappointed in your Oct. 26 editorial headlined “Simply ‘following science’ not always key.”

Particularly troubling was the statement, “Besides, what if the scientists aren’t following the science? Some of them are not.”

Nothing in the editorial shows scientists not following science. There is enough ignorance in the world. We don’t need newspaper editorials to encourage people to distrust science.

The issue involved two studies of the antiviral drug remdesivir. One study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health found that the drug helped shorten hospital stays for COVID-19 patients. Another from the U.N World Health Organization study said the opposite, that remdesivir did not help patients.

The editorial concludes “So, who’s right and who’s wrong about remdesivir? That is a troubling question — and one that should remind us simply following the science can be bad advice. It all depends on which ‘science’ we rely on, and that is not a comforting thought.”

So, which scientists, those with WHO or those with NIH, were not following science? Neither, of course. They both used science to arrive at their conclusions. While it seems likely that one set of scientists made some errors, that is no reason to suggest they were not following science. Just because a reporter runs a correction doesn’t mean we should distrust the overall objectivity of the Tribune Chronicle.

It is nonsensical to suggest that there are two sciences, and we must put our faith behind one or the other. The story does not end here with contradictory results. Ultimately, there is only science — one science — and researchers will use science to determine if remdesivir helps coronavirus patients or not. As hard as it may be during a pandemic, we have to be patient and wait for the doctors and scientists to figure it out.

STEPHEN ORAVECZ

Cortland

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