Dr. Scott Atlas — who specializes in radiology, not infectious diseases (epidemiologist) — called for indoor schools to open and praised President Donald Trump for canceling the indoor Republican National Convention during an interview with San Diego’s KUSI.
Atlas — who works for the pro-Trump and pro-corporate Hoover Institution — mocked online education as just placing a computer in front of a child, which is not how telelearning works.
While Atlas sang the praises of in-person schooling, he failed to mention the Hoover Institution’s opposition to public schools.
Atlas repeatedly referred to a study in South Korea that found children under 10 transmit COVID-19 less often to adults, whoever, that same study found children between the ages of 10 and 19 spread the virus as well as adults do.
Atlas also cited an article about schools reopening by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the article often relies on unverified Chinese studies and non-medical websites.
Atlas did not mention the teachers and school administrators who could also be infected at school, and take COVID-19 back to their families.
Smithsonian Magazine notes that other studies show children do spread the coronavirus just as adults do:
There’s evidence as well that children, including those without symptoms, are as likely to be infectious. Researchers in Berlin tested more than 3,700 COVID-19 patients, including 127 individuals under 20 years old. The study found that compared to adults, kids carried the same viral load, a signal of infectiousness.
Some reports place children at the center of spreader events. In Israel, the number of new cases has risen from fewer than 50 per day two months ago, before schools reopened, to more than 1,500 per day now. Those numbers followed school outbreaks that infected at least 1,335 students and 691 staff. An overnight camp for 13-to-18-year-olds in Missouri closed after 82 children and staff became infected.
Yang Yang, a biostatistician at the University of Florida’s College of Public Health, is completing a study based on nearly 20,000 households. He says his preliminary results reveal that children do infect adults, especially in the same households. “Our analysis is that children are a little bit more infectious than adults with in-house transmission,” he says, but that may just be because they are tended to by parents or grandparents in homes.