Scott Atlas Must Be Discredited

Scott Atlas Must Be Discredited

Scott Atlas Must Be Discredited

There’s no doubt that Dr. Scott Atlas is one smart guy. A senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Atlas is a radiologist who served as Chief of Neuroradiology and professor at Stanford University Medical Center. He has authored multiple articles in professional journals, as well the textbook, Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain and Spine. 

But when it comes to what to do about COVID, Dr. Atlas is not on Team Fauci-Birx. Instead he adheres to a more libertarian approach to the COVID pandemic, as do some other researchers. But now he’s on Team Trump, so the media must destroy Scott Atlas.

The Washington Post created an ominous video for YouTube, entitled, “Who is Scott Atlas, Trump’s new pandemic adviser.” Complete with a ominous soundtrack, the video shows the viewer that Atlas has appeared on horrors! Fox News. He’s also not an epidemiologist, like St.Dr. Anthony Fauci, with whom he is “at odds.” The video also ends with the worries of “some experts,” whomever they may be.

The New York Times also belittled Scott Atlas, calling him a “coronavirus contrarian” who apparently doesn’t have the chops to call balls-and-strikes on COVID policy, since he is “neither an epidemiologist nor an infectious disease expert.” He also proposes policies similar to Sweden’s “soft lockdown.” These include a more libertarian approach of focusing on high-risk groups with less restrictions for the rest of the population. As Atlas said in an interview:

“When you isolate everyone, including all the healthy people, you’re prolonging the problem because you’re preventing population immunity. Low-risk groups getting the infection is not a problem. In fact, it’s a positive.”

But the NYT claims such a “soft lockdown” led to a “disastrous effect” in Sweden. Thus, Scott Atlas must be discredited.

CNN’s Brianna Keilar reacted contemptuously to Scott Atlas being put on the White House pandemic team:

“Dr. Atlas clearly wouldn’t know science if it kicked him in the atlas, and people wanting their kids to be healthy, their families to be healthy — that is not hysteria. It is rational human behavior.”

She’s funny. Especially since Keilar has spent her career in journalism and has no medical experience whatsoever.

scott atlas


However, Atlas has long advocated for opening the nation. In fact, in late April, The Hill published an opinion piece by Atlas entitled, “The data is in — stop the panic and end the total isolation.” In the article, he put forth five facts — backed up with data — to show why the lockdowns must end. Plus, he said “experts” need to stop relying on projections:

“Let’s stop underemphasizing empirical evidence while instead doubling down on hypothetical models. Facts matter.”

Nor is Atlas the only voice who has spoken up against lockdowns. In March, Dr. David Katz, who specializes in public health and preventative medicine, wrote such an opinion piece in the New York Times. He asked “Is Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease?” Dr. Katz promotes herd immunity, something that Drs. Fauci and Birx (as well as the WaPo, the NYT, and CNN) look upon with horror:

“So long as we were protecting the truly vulnerable, a sense of calm could be restored to society. Just as important, society as a whole could develop natural herd immunity to the virus.”

Also in March, Dr. John Ioannidis, who is a professor of medicine and — surprise! epidemiology, worried about draconian COVID measures, too:

“If the pandemic dissipates — either on its own or because of these measures — short-term extreme social distancing and lockdowns may be bearable. How long, though, should measures like these be continued if the pandemic churns across the globe unabated? How can policymakers tell if they are doing more good than harm?”

And, for what it’s worth, my own doctor told me at the end of April that she wanted local businesses, which had been shuttered, to open again. “Flattening the curve,” she told me, “just pushes the misery out further.” She also supports herd immunity, and told me that about half of her colleagues felt the same way.

In other words, approaching COVID with an eye towards greater freedom and economic health is not just a Scott Atlas idea. Other doctors have embraced that idea as well. But since President Trump promoted Atlas to his pandemic team, the media wolves are eager to eviscerate this doctor who disagrees with Team Fauci-Birx.


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Featured image: Daniel Foster/flickr/cropped/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 

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Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • Randall Finley says:

    It would have been worthwhile to note Sweden’s actual results with the soft lockdown. They aren’t “disastrous” at all. Better than some European nations, worse than others. Middling results without devastating their economy.

  • Considering that by the CDC’s own numbers, COVID-19 is much less dangerous than common influenza, my question becomes: If we’re to stay shut down until there’s a reliable anti-COVID-19 vaccine, then what next? Will we stay shut down until there’s a reliable anti-influenza vaccine? Because there isn’t one.

  • Steve White says:

    I’m an academic pulmonary physician. I agree with Dr. Atlas and Ms. Hirsch’s family doctor.

  • GWB says:

    “some experts,”
    That’s one of the most pernicious (I’m using that word a lot lately) bits of journalistic malpractice around. It doesn’t even specify ‘experts on this topic’, just ‘experts’. Much like “sources with knowledge of the matter”, it allows for some total rando to be used to bolster their case without the possibility of impeachment of the witness.

    He’s also not an epidemiologist
    Given how many epidemiologists in this pandemic seem to have not a clue about a realistic exercise of their expertise, I’m ok with that.
    (Oh, and I’m also not an epidemiologist. Neither do I play one on tv or the internet. But I’m still evidently wiser than a lot of folks who are, that are Safetyists.)

    “When you isolate everyone, including all the healthy people, you’re prolonging the problem because you’re preventing population immunity. Low-risk groups getting the infection is not a problem. In fact, it’s a positive.”
    “OMG, he’s not an epidemiologist!” Yet, this is a standard concept of epidemiology. Ignored by way too many folks in power, it seems he’s more knowledgeable on the topic than many folks labeled with that ‘expert’ moniker.

    a “disastrous effect” in Sweden
    Like having a lower long-term death rate and hospitalization rate?

    CNN’s Brianna Keilar
    So, she’s a doctor? No? Has she studied medical literature and researched study methodologies and statistics? No?
    Surely she’s at least a polymath, then? No? She’s a journalist just a teleprompter reader? Does she even have common sense? And people listen to her opinion on various topics? Why?

    Facts matter.
    Oh, well, obviously then, he’s a white supremacist, so we can ignore him.

    Dr. Katz promotes herd immunity, something that Drs. Fauci and Birx (as well as the WaPo, the NYT, and CNN) look upon with horror
    The funny part to this is, if you started a conversation with these folks about anti-vaxers, they’d all scream about needing herd immunity, and that’s why everyone should get vaccinated!
    No, what they’re mad about is the idea that 1) herd immunity requirements might be a lot lower than gives them real, ongoing power, and 2) it’s not a gov’t, Safetyist, Zero-risker controlled, chemically-induced herd immunity, like it would be with vaccinations. Note how “control” enters into both of those issues.

    If the pandemic dissipates
    It already has.

    my own doctor
    She’s a practicing physician, so she can’t really afford to be a safetyist.

    eager to eviscerate this doctor who disagrees with Team Fauci-Birx
    Technically, disagrees with them. Fauci and Birx are only liked to the extent they agree with 1) the Safetyists, 2) the vaccinationists (those who insist on an artificially produced method of protection), and 3) the ability to make things difficult for ORANGEMANBAD.

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