Letter: Iron County sheriff suppresses science

(Connor Sanders | Tribune file photo ) Concertgoers gathered near Cedar City in June to await a concert by country singer Collin Raye, organized in protest of COVID-19 restrictions. Iron County Sheriff Ken Carpenter said he won't enforce mask wearing and social distancing mandated statewide by Gov. Gary Herbert at such gatherings.

The Nov. 11 Tribune summary of the Iron County sheriff’s refusal to enforce Gov. Gary Herbert’s most recent mandates for COVID-19 virus containment should be the subject of the sheriff’s immediate dismissal. The “herd immunity” gambit favored by the sheriff, Ken Carpenter, amounts to collective suicide, given the utter lack of care, as well as disregard for science in general, favored by the medieval populace of too much of the American West.

Science is a method, not an ethic, belief system, or competing religion. Sheriffs, while they perform some worthwhile services (nearly all founded in science, ultimately, given that they amount to practical applications of logical solutions to immediate problems), must not be allowed to be arbiters of microbiological scientific processes that determine public health. “Herd mentality” (outgoing President Trump’s term) is not conducive to economic prosperity, economic development, corporate recruitment, or any form of change that builds wealth or collective good. Be forewarned, companies considering expansion or relocation in Iron County, or in other Trumpian parts of Utah: Science is not only not spoken here, but is officially suppressed.

Ivan Weber, Salt Lake City

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