Dr. Scott Atlas, the former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, made a Friday night Fox News appearance to defend his viral column about why the ongoing coronavirus panic, and the ensuing government-enforced shutdowns, should end.
Atlas’ column, titled “The Data Is In — Stop The Panic And End The Total Isolation” and published Wednesday at The Hill, lists “five key facts” that are “being ignored by those calling for continuing the near-total lockdown,” along with evidence to bolster each one.
Those “facts” include:
Fact 1: The overwhelming majority of people do not have any significant risk of dying from COVID-19
Fact 2: Protecting older, at-risk people eliminates hospital overcrowding.
Fact 3: Vital population immunity is prevented by total isolation policies, prolonging the problem.
Fact 4: People are dying because other medical care is not getting done due to hypothetical projections.
Fact 5: We have a clearly defined population at risk who can be protected with targeted measures.
“Leaders must examine accumulated data to see what has actually happened, rather than keep emphasizing hypothetical projections; combine that empirical evidence with fundamental principles of biology established for decades; and then thoughtfully restore the country to function,” Atlas wrote.
The former Stanford doctor appeared on Friday night’s edition of “The Story with Martha MacCallum” to discuss his conclusions.
“I think we are in a different position now than we were a month ago,” Atlas said. “That position is we have a lot of evidence. We don’t need to just simply emphasize hypothetical projections. We can combine that empirical data instead of ignoring it. We can combine that with our knowledge of fundamental biology, decades we’ve known a lot about viruses, a lot about infections, and for decades, even about this family of viruses. And then we can thoughtfully combine that evidence with the way to restore the country in a safe way.”
Atlas defended his contention that people have a low risk of dying from the virus as being “shown all over the world” as dire death projections continue to decline as larger infection rates are discovered. Most of the infected were asymptomatic or “have zero symptoms,” he said, and the vast majority “certainly” do not require hospitalization.
“So when you look at the newer data that has come out, the estimates are that the fatality rate is very low,” he said. “Maybe 0.1%, I mean it’s not set, it’s not known exactly but these are estimates. We also know that when you take the people who are going to die, two-thirds of people are over 70. 95% of people are over 50. If you’re young and healthy you have essentially zero, near zero chance of dying.”
The former Stanford doctor pointed out that 99.2% of those who died had “some underlying condition,” a fact that should be “critical information” for policy makers.
He then argued that “protecting the at risk population” does not “mean total isolation” for everyone else.