Dr. Scott Atlas, senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and the former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center, defended his position, in the wake of rising model numbers, that Americans should reopen the country.
Atlas originally made national news after his column, “The Data Is In — Stop The Panic And End The Total Isolation,” was published at The Hill and went viral last month. In it, the Stanford doctor cites several facts currently “being ignored by those calling for continuing the near-total lockdown,” along with evidence behind each.
Before his introduction on Monday night’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum,” Fox News host Martha MacCallum pointed out “unsettling data” that points to “a very big jump” in predicted U.S. deaths by August.
“Do these rising models change anything about your headline, that we need to stop panicking about this?” she asked.
“No, in fact they underscore some of the very things I was saying and they reveal a lot of, again, the same sort of misconception about models,” Atlas responded before pointing out that such models “change all the time.”
However, he said the most “important point” is that “nothing has changed here.”
“We should look at the evidence,” he said. “We don’t need to rely on hypothetical projections. We have a ton of evidence, and the evidence is consistent all over the world that we know the fatality rate is much lower than what the models were based on originally.
“We know that we have flattened, the curves have been flattened and the curves, to note, are not the numbers of cases. The only curves that count are the deaths per day and the hospitalizations per day and when you take all that into account, including the very important things that are catastrophically destructive about total isolation, you come to the same conclusion that I and many, many people all over the world support,” he continued.
Atlas called the notion that current reopenings are driving any spike today “completely false.”
“If you open the doors today and you have deaths in three days, there is no correlation there,” said the Stanford researcher. “It takes 23 to 30 days on roughly average to have somebody [go] from getting the infection to dying. When the number of deaths goes up in three days in the state opening their doors, there is no correlation whatsoever. That’s just a false conclusion to be made.”
After making an argument for protecting nursing homes and regulating sanitation and hygiene in certain areas, Atlas called fear the “real contagion.” (RELATED: Staying In Place Is ‘Actually Harmful’: Stanford’s Scott Atlas Makes The Case For Herd Immunity)
“There is a new standard evolving from this, but you can’t really make policy based on fear and catastrophic projections and this is another thing that’s actually harming, even things like the food supply chain,” Atlas said. “It’s the fear that’s the real contagion here. The fear is the problem.”
Atlas finished the interview by criticizing the logic behind keeping schools closed by saying there is “little, if any risk” to those under 18 who emerging research may show are even “less likely to transmit the disease.”