Letters to the Editor

A reality check for Covid-19 claims

Editor’s note: If you would like to submit a letter for possible publication, please email it to editor@rationalist.com.au.

Dear Editor,

Recently, I read on the RSA Facebook page the encouraging statement on the topic of the Covid-19 pandemic that "we urge governments and policy-makers to make decisions based on reason and evidence. That means listening to the best available science and to experts in relevant fields … ". It is with this in mind that I feel compelled to question the decision to print in volume 121 of Australian Rationalist the highly dubious and fallacious article by Ray Moon entitled 'A man-made panic'.

The article is a series of unfounded and unreferenced claims which reads like far-right pseudoscience and misinformation the likes of which circulates on social media.

The author begins by calling, without citation, the Covid pandemic "a crisis based almost entirely on artificial constructs". He goes on to make appeals to nature (a classic logical failure). He claims that PCR testing is unproven and unreliable, and repeats the conspiracy that cases of infection are an "artificial statistical construct". There is the fallacious "99 per cent unaffected" claim and a string of other claims seeking to undermine the seriousness of the situation.

To his claim that PCR testing is not reliable, I, as a lab technician of 14 years experience, am familiar with the techniques of PCR and the rigorous quality control checks which go into confirming each positi...

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