OP-ED: Scott Atlas is a needed voice of wisdom and reason on the Coronavirus Taskforce
Thank goodness that President Trump has appointed a knowledgeable, credible counterbalance to the Coronavirus Taskforce. Dr. Scott Atlas is not a bureaucrat like Dr. Anthony Fauci or Dr. Deborah Birx; he is a world-renowned scientist and physician who seems to actually study the totality of the impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic. Dr. Fauci, by contrast, has repeatedly conceded that he hasn’t considered the economic impacts and secondary public health crises of his COVID-19 advice.
Whereas Drs. Fauci, Birx and others have whipsawed their policy recommendations on everything from masks to lockdowns, Dr. Atlas has been a steady, consistent voice of scientific rationality through the course of this epidemic. While Dr. Fauci has praised New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomofor his handling of the virus, even though it reportedly may have led to the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home patients in that state, Dr. Atlas advocated for protecting the most vulnerable of our society. You know who the most vulnerable are — the elderly, particularly those with other serious medical conditions.
Of course, being a voice of a common-sense response to the COVID-19 epidemic means Dr. Atlas is in the sights of Democrats and other critics, whose goal appears to be to keep America in perpetual fear and chaos. The left’s propaganda arm knows that if there isn’t a real complaint to throw at someone, it may become necessary to simply invent one in order to further the narrative. And this is what is happening to the totally apolitical Dr. Atlas.
David Frum, a reporter from The Atlantic, tweeted the following about Dr. Atlas: “White House new COVID adviser urges the US follow Swedish model on the virus: let the disease rip, build herd immunity.”
Perhaps the benefit of the doubt should be given to Frum, unlike in his attack on Atlas; maybe he didn’t understand Atlas’s rather straightforward statement: “The goal of stopping COVID-19 cases is not the appropriate goal. The goal is simply twofold, to protect the people who are going to have a serious problem or die, that’s the high-risk population, and to stop hospital overcrowding.”
There is nothing controversial or confusing about that statement. After all, that actually is consistent with what Fauci and Birx said previously. Those two goals are consistent with the original goal of “flattening the curve.”
But, then, nearly our entire society and economy were subsequently locked down, with petty tyrants in some states and cities extending the conditions and lengths of those lockdowns beyond reason or medical need. The result has been an increase in domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, and suicide ideation. Never mind the economic wreckage that has been wrought: These policies have also produced trepidation in the populace to the extent that some cancer patients reportedly have skipped treatments, and many diseases may have gone undetected. The truth is, the total ramifications of the lockdowns are not fully known.
It is about time that we have a credible counterweight to the public health bureaucracy that has created or added to some of the fear that has gripped the nation. It is a sign of our time that a reputable doctor and scientist would be castigated for his common sense and science-based recommendations. The left may smear Dr. Atlas, but his guidance is needed. Elected officials need to listen to and implement policy consistent with Dr. Atlas’s statement that “99.8 percent of deaths are in people over 24. They can do things, if they are still afraid, from a distance, but you don’t lock down healthy people. It’s just irrational, really.”