Coronavirus? Atlas Shrugs. Scott Atlas, MD.

Coronavirus? Atlas Shrugs. Scott Atlas, MD.
Donald Trump is accustomed to finding doctors who agree with him and, when it comes to dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic, he’s found one he likes even more than Dr. Stella Immanuel. Dr. Scott Atlas is new Special Advisor to the President and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The president introduced him at an August 10th press briefing:

“Scott is a very famous man who’s also very highly respected — Stanford. And he’s working with us and will be working with us on the coronavirus. And he has many great ideas. And he thinks what we’ve done is really good, and now we’ll take it to a new level. And so it’s great to have Scott working along with us.”

But Dr. Atlas is not an epidemiologist or an infectious disease expert, he’s a renowned expert in neuroradiology, specifically Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and was Chief of Neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center from 1998 to 2012. As far as we know, Dr. Atlas has not imaged the presidential noggin.

You may be wondering why someone with no pandemic expertise is now the president’s go-to guy on COVID-19. It’s because Scott Atlas is a fellow in Health Care Policy at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank devoted to free-market bloviation and a direct pipeline to the Fox News Channel, where Mr. Trump caught Dr. Atlas’ act. When it comes to coronavirus, Dr. Atlas isn’t keen on face masks or testing, and he wants to reopen schools and let lots of young people get the virus to bring about “herd immunity.” That strategy failed in Sweden, and experts estimate it would require the deaths of 2 million Americans to achieve “herd immunity” in the U.S. without a vaccine.

More:

“A New Coronavirus Adviser Roils the White House With Unorthodox Ideas,” Noah Weiland, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Michael D. Shear and Jim Tankersley, New York Times

“New Trump pandemic adviser pushes controversial ‘herd immunity’ strategy, worrying public health officials,” Yasmeen Abutaleb and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

“President Trump’s New COVID-19 Adviser Is Making Public Health Experts Nervous,” Geoff Brumfiel and Tamara Keith, NPR News

“Herd Immunity Is Not a Strategy,” James Hamblin, M.D., The Atlantic

Updates:

“Redfield voices alarm over influence of Trump’s new coronavirus task force adviser,” Monica Alba, NBC News

“Even Fox’s ‘Hard News’ Shows Don’t Want to Book Trump’s Favorite New COVID Adviser,” Asawin Suebsaeng and Maxwell Tani, Daily Beast

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Short link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-vyX

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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