Dr. Scott Atlas, whom President Donald Trump recently brought aboard as a member of the COVID-19 task force, is being dubbed the “anti-Fauci” for his frequent disagreements with the country’s top immunologist over how best to proceed in handling the pandemic.
One of the disputes between Atlas, who joined the task force in mid-August, and Dr. Anthony Fauci is the former’s push to adopt a “herd immunity” approach to the ongoing pandemic — allowing the virus to spread throughout the country while still protecting the most vulnerable populations such as elderly people and those with preexisting medical conditions.
It’s not a new idea for Atlas, a radiologist by training: He’s been arguing to end economic shutdowns and societal lockdowns aimed at slowing the virus’ spread since April.
And, according to sources who allegedly spoke to the Washington Post, he has been promoting the concept since joining the task force.
The strategy of achieving herd immunity was adopted by Sweden, which never locked down its country or required its people to close shops, empty schools, and cancel sports. And the country today has emerged from the pandemic hardly the worse for wear.
For his part, Atlas denied the Post’s report, according to the Daily Mail.
“There is no policy of the President or this administration of achieving herd immunity,” he said in a statement. “There never has been any such policy recommended to the President or to anyone else from me.”
However, another source allegedly told CNN, “Everything he says and does points toward herd immunity.”
In an interview with the network, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell noted that there have been a lot of deaths of people in eldercare facilities, which has also happened in nursing homes around the world because the virus tends to impact older, sicker people more.
He also noted that the number of people who have been infected — that are known — is well below what is normally needed for herd immunity.
But as of this writing, Sweden’s last COVID-19 death was on August 23, so if Tegnell’s assessment is accurate, it either means more people have had the virus than is known or it isn’t as deadly as it’s been made out to be.
“There are things that we could have done better but in general I think that Sweden has chosen the right way,” he told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, said Sweden’s approach to coronavirus has been mischaracterized.
“It’s tried to rely on individuals and communities to comply with the advice of government and it has tried to avoid imposing mandatory lockdowns, mandatory separation of individuals,” he told CNN.
“That is the social contract in Sweden,” he added. “Nobody has come through this pandemic with a perfect strategy.”
As for Atlas, he has criticized the lockdown approach to the virus, as well as the mainstream media’s over-hyped and anti-administration bias to covering the outbreak in the U.S.
He has said that decisions to lock down the country one state and city at a time early on were made without enough facts and almost no hard data, but rather on death toll estimates from models that were grossly incorrect.
“The first fact is that the data shows that the fatality rate is far less, probably 1/10 or even lower than what was originally estimated. And that data comes from all over the world and all over the United States, and in fact, there’s something even more striking about it, the fatality rate is very very low, extremely low…In fact, the reality is, and you get shamed for saying it, for people under 60, the fatality rate is less than or equal to the common flu,” he said in May — a statement that has turned out to be true.
On Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), whose state has seen a resurgence and receding of COVID-19 infections, said after consulting with Atlas his state will “never do any” lockdowns again, SaraACarter.com reported.
“You go back to the beginning of June, end of July, people said you have to shut down Florida, it will be exponential it will never go down,” he said and one of the press conferences he held throughout the day in Tallahassee, The Villages and Tampa.
“We will never do any of these lockdowns again,” he said, adding that “at best what a lockdown will do is delay but not reduce the ultimate mortality.”