There is a new addition to the coronavirus-task-force that was put together under President Donald Trump’s administration. Last week Trump introduced the doctor as Dr. Scott Atlas who has been a repeated starring guest on the News Channel run by FOX.
Dr. Scott Atlas is now going on to be a pandemic advisor for the Trump administration. Dr. Atlas has been chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center in the past. He has also been previously a fellow at Stanford’s conservative Hoover Institution. The thing that sticks out the most however is the fact that Atlas does not specialize in the sector of public health nor infectious diseases.
He however mirrors many of Trump’s sentiments such as laying criticism on coronavirus lockdowns, for wanting children to return to school and for college sports to resume playing as usual.
Trump proudly introduced Dr.Scott Atlas saying that not only is the new addition highly respected but also rather famous. He also added that Atlas approves of what Trump’s administration has done so far and will soon bring new ideas to the table.
The new addition to the team comes just in time as tensions grew stronger between President Donald Trump and the nation’s trusted infectious diseases expert Drs. Anthony Fauci as well as with Deborah Birx who is the coordinator for the coronavirus task force. While Birx still works as one of the most closely involved members in the administration as a response team for the pandemic, she alongside Fauci has not shied away from revealing the true situation the US is facing in the pandemic.
While Trump has received criticism over portraying the state of the country as an overly positive picture, Fauci has reminded the public time and time again about how grave the situation is.
The coronavirus is responsible for above 167,000 American deaths in the US and has led to millions of infections across the nation.
This past week Atlas has been the only doctor to grace Trump’s briefings regarding the pandemic. He has also criticized policies that are used by experts of the public health worldwide and in the US.
He also believes it is good that young, healthy people come in contact with the virus and that the coronavirus poses a zero risk for the children exposed to it. His statements have therefore been seen as quite controversial.
Atlas has also complained against lockdowns saying that these measures might have reduced the possibility of the population developing herd immunity naturally.
He has also asserted that if we don’t have a vaccine, the transmission of the coronavirus in society will help it, high-risk patients however should be isolated.
Atlas’s concerns however are not shared by health experts. While it can be said that younger people in the population are least susceptible to developing serious or chronic adversities from the coronavirus, they are still carriers and can infect those who are most vulnerable to it. While it is widely believed that younger people rarely die of the virus, some patients do experience serious complications.
Public health experts have long advised the government to not politicize the coronavirus and have doctors and scientists curate the response against the virus. They have also questioned the decision to appoint Atlas as his field of expertise is in magnetic resonance which is not the qualification for someone in his appointment.
Lawrence Gostin is a Georgetown University law professor who has specialized in public health. He says he thinks Atlas in underqualified for the position to lead a coronavirus response team.
Gostin pointed out that the new candidate’s degree in medicine is nowhere near infectious diseases or public health and even without that he has no experience in handling public health outbreaks.
While some vouch for Atlas’s competency only time will tell how successful Trump’s coronavirus task force proves to be during the pandemic and how much of it the country can owe it to Atlas’s contributions.