Radiologist Join White House COVID Team

It was a great sight to witness Scott Atlas, MD, board-certified radiologist, walking out with President Donald Trump.

Radiologist Join White House COVID Team
Radiologist Join White House COVID Team

In a meeting on August 10, 2020, President Trump said, “He’s working with us and will be working with us on the coronavirus. Moreover, he has many great ideas. And he thinks what we’ve done is good, and now we’ll take it to a new level.”

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Scott Atlas is one of the eminent senior fellows at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. Forbes has named him, “a conservative think tank.” From the year 1998 to 2012, he was a professor and the chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center, as per his online university profile.

Besides, his Stanford bio also that he was a senior healthcare advisor to many presidential candidates. Atlas has also counseled members of Congress on issues of national healthcare. He is the editor of a leading textbook, Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain and Spine, which is not in the fifth edition.

According to a CNN report, Atlas is the official adviser to the President. It is also noted that he made a few public appearances on news channels like Fox News, speaking in favor of schools reopening and the resumption of college football this fall.

Fox News quoted him saying, “We have to become rational here. The risk for people that age is less than seasonal influenza,” referring to young college students. He also added, “I mean, you have to look at the data….You can’t say it’s all about science and then act contrary to science.”

Several news outlets reported that the view of Atlas on Covid-19 is directly aligned with the view of President Trump, and Rush Limbaugh is all praises about the new adviser. In the weekly radio show, Limbaugh said, “he is countering Fauci.” In the latter half of July 2020, Trump named Anthony Fauci, MD, who was a long-term director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as “a little bit of an alarmist.” In response, Fauci said, “I consider myself more of a realist.”

In April, The Hill published an op-ed in which Atlas shared his views on the SARS COV-2 coronavirus and promoted herd immunity till the time a vaccine is made available. He said, “In the absence of immunization, society needs circulation of the virus, assuming high-risk people can be isolated. It is very much possible that whole-population isolation prevented natural herd immunity from developing.”

CNN reports that Atlas has already attended two separate briefings in a week but he was not given time to speak.

Herd Immunity – A Controversial Strategy

On the Steve Deace Show, in April 2020, Atlas spoke at length, promoting the virus to infect the younger generation, in an attempt to protect elder Americans.

His words were, “We can allow a lot of people to get infected. For those who are not at risk of dying or having a serious hospital-requiring illness, we should be fine with letting them get infected, generating immunity on their own, and the more immunity in the community, the better we can eradicate the threat of the virus.”

He called it “herd immunity” and said that it is the “basic principle” of immunology and biology.

Truth is, building up herd immunity can restrict or even end the spread of coronavirus, according to Chris Murray, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington.

However, this strategy has only worked in the past through vaccination. It is one way of allowing the spread of this virus through healthy populations without affecting the sicker and older Americans at a risk, which is naïve. Murray said, “It’s very difficult to protect vulnerable populations once the virus is transmitting extensively. We haven’t seen any success of that.”

Murray’s team estimated that if this virus was allowed to rapidly spread, the daily death count could exceed 360,000 by the end of December. Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers approximately 50% of the populace vulnerable to Covid-19 complications were protected, thousands of healthy, young Americans would perish.

Murray adds, “COVID is dramatically riskier for everybody than the flu. There is just no comparison. It’s at least an order of magnitude worse – tenfold or more.”

Not to forget, people also face a wide range of medical complications and experiences with the virus. It is not just a dichotomy, recovery, or death. Evidence shows that people who could beat Covid-19 had been dealing with lingering after-effects.

As per CDC data, one-third of all Covid-19 survivors aged 18-34 suffer complications like cough and fatigue for weeks even after recovering from an infection. There are also reports of serious complications and stroke, though data is scanty.

Economy & Public Health

The world is going through the toughest times. The situation is such that the world economy is pitted against public health. Atlas, in his media appearances, talks about how the economy is crippling due to lockdown and argues that the restrictions are doing grave damage than the virus itself.

In an email statement, Atlas wrote, “Americans today should have cautious optimism as we move beyond the worst phase of this pandemic.”

During this pandemic, it is very important to take good care of your health. Ensure you are doing regular tests and imaging from a reputed lab.  sepStream® is a place you can trust for quick and accurate results.

Read more: RIS PACS

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