Covid-19 Impact: A Viral Witch Hunt


Merlin’s op-ed, “A Viral Witch Hunt,” published in Issues in Science and Technology on March 27, 2020 illustrates how misguided focus on bats as speculated sources of scary diseases threatens an invaluable resource and leads to misdirection of public health resources.

It’s a call to action to improve our personal health as well as that of the natural world. To hold both scientists and news media accountable for reporting facts in perspective, instead of out-of-context speculation that leads to panic and irresponsible actions. And to stop the misappropriation of public health funding.

Despite the current focus on pandemics, responsible stewardship should be the dominant concern of our time.

Blaming bats or pangolins for the COVID-19 outbreak is pointless and pointing to bats as possible sources of long-ago pangolin infection is irrelevant. Those who rationalize frightening people with exaggerated disease claims as long as they extol values and warn against killing need to see the following examples in Indonesia, Peru, China understanding that the majority of such instances go unreported.