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Sep-14-2020 14:29printcomments

Dr. Scott Atlas, Trump's New Pandemic Guru

The U.S. has 4% of the wold’s population,
but more than 25% of global coronavirus cases
With deaths from the virus approaching 200,000.

President Trump and Dr. Scott Atlas
President Trump and Dr. Scott Atlas (Image from The Washington Post)

(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.) - Dr. Scott Atlas is Trump’s new pandemic adviser. Dr. Atlas is a neuroradiologist with no background in epidemiology or infectious diseases.

Yet Trump has embraced this new adviser because Dr. Atlas argues that the role of government is not to stamp out the virus but to protect our most vulnerable citizens and then let the rest of us get infected until “herd immunity” is reached.

This argument must appeal to Trump because he now has an excuse to continue to do nothing until herd immunity is reached with less need for testing and contact tracing.

Drs. Anthony Faucci, Deborah Birx and Jerome Adams, the Surgeon General find this misguided, and even dangerous.

On September 9, 2020, former Stanford Medical School colleagues of Dr. Atlas wrote an open letter calling “attention to the falsehoods and misrepresentations of science recently fostered by Dr. Scott Atlas.”

Herd immunity occurs when a high percentage of the community — 65% to 70% — is immune to a disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness), making the spread of this disease from person-to-person unlikely.

Theoretically, herd immunity could be reached if 65% — using a low figure — of the U.S. population of 331 million or 215 million with a death rate of 1% — a conservative figure — of 2.15 million deaths.

That means Dr. Atlas and Trump are willing to accept 2.15 million deaths in the U.S. to reach herd immunity.

However, it isn't yet clear if infection with the COVID-19 virus makes a person immune to future infection. And 215 million infected people would probably overrun our already exhausted healthcare system.

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