President Donald Trump’s newest White House coronavirus adviser weighed in on the fate of the upcoming college football season during a Monday night segment of Fox News’ “The Story.”
With independent schools and minor conferences already canceling their football seasons in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, along with others like the Big 10, Dr. Scott Atlas lent his voice to those in favor of salvaging the season.
Atlas, former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, told host Martha MacCallum that he agrees with Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence’s assessment that football is a “safe haven for so many people who are more likely to get the virus in everyday life than playing football.”
“He’s nailing something right away which is that the environment of college sports and athletes is a very, very sophisticated environment,” Atlas said. “They have health care, they are very controlled, there’s accountability, they couldn’t get a better and safer environment no matter what environment you’re from.”
Atlas argued that football players “are physical specimens who are really super-young people” and “have virtually zero risk from this” if they don’t have a comorbidity.
“We have to again become rational here. The risk for people that age is less than seasonal influenza,” he added. “You have to really look at the data and you can say it’s all about the science and then act contrary to science.”
Atlas contended that we have the knowledge and ability to “safely take care of those people” who are “diabetic or have other comorbidities,” who could also be given the option to opt-out. (RELATED: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Says The SEC And ACC Should Play Football, Suggests Poaching Players From Conferences That Don’t)
“There’s no reason to shut down out of fear here,” Atlas said.
“There is such fear in the community and unfortunately it’s been propagated by people who are doing some very sloppy thinking and really sensationalistic media reporting, so I think we need to get a grip here, look at the science, understand who we are talking about here,” he concluded. “There’s not a lot of obese, diabetic 78-year-olds playing football.”
Trump introduced Atlas during Monday’s White House press conference as his newest coronavirus adviser.