I am very disturbed by the lazy way in which the Independent reported on the recent COVID protest march downtown. I believe it is essential to our democracy that all opinions be freely expressed and citizens’ actions, like the COVID protest, be fully and seriously reported. However, I believe it does great harm when reporting allows unfounded fantasy to go uncorrected.
In extensively quoting Aimee Smith’s opinions about COVID and the pandemic, the Independent properly corrected her false statements about how lethal COVID can be but left wholly uncorrected her even more serious false claims about the efficacy of COVID testing. To write that “The Independent was unable to verify Smith’s claims” is just lazy and sloppy journalism.
With volumes of high-quality peer-reviewed scientific research available, there is no excuse for not verifying and correcting these claims. If your reporter did not have time to complete their due diligence, the story should not have been published until it was done.
The seriousness of this public-health crisis demands of all of us the highest levels of personal and professional conduct. I hope the Independent corrects the facts in this case with a full report on the current state of testing and test efficacy.