Trump’s New COVID-19 Advisor Dr. Scott Atlas — Who Does Not Specialize in Diseases — Calls for Schools to Reopen
President Donald Trump’s new medical advisor on COVID-19 is Dr. Scott Atlas, who is not an expert in infectious diseases (epidemiology) like Dr. Anthony Fauci (VIDEO BELOW).
Atlas’ specialty is euroradiology (X-rays, imaging), and he currently works for the Hoover Institution, a right wing think tank that opposes universal health care and Obamacare.
Trump introduced Atlas at a White House briefing on Aug. 10, reports ABC News:
Scott is a very famous man, who is also highly respected. He’s working with us and will be working with us on the coronavirus. And he has many great ideas.
Atlas played down COVID-19 cases on Fox News on July 6:
It doesn’t matter if you get the illness if you’re going to fully recover and be fine from it.
Atlas called for reopening schools, but praised Trump for canceling the Republican National Convention for safety during an interview with San Diego’s KUSI on July 8.
Atlas repeatedly referred to a study in South Korea that found children under 10 transmit COVID-19 less often to adults, however, 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 and Control Prevention. However, the article often relies on unverified Chinese studies and non-medical websites.
Smithsonian Magazine notes that studies have shown children 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.
However, Atlas called for reopening the schools on Aug. 12, reports ABC News:
We know that the risk of the disease is extremely low for children, even less than that of seasonal flu. We know that the harms of locking out the children from school are enormous.
And we also know, as we all would agree, that educating America’s children is right at the top of the list for our nation’s priorities. So, I thank the president and everyone here for acknowledging these truths, and to get kids back to school safely.