Stanford doctor says it’s time to ‘rely on facts’ about COVID-19, end strict lockdowns

A top medical expert is stunning the media with his bold take on the new coronavirus.

Dr. Scott Atlas, the former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, argues that because of what is now known about COVID-19, it is about time for things like state lockdowns to come to an end, the Daily Caller reports.

Assessing the facts

Atlas made headlines this week with an article published by The Hill on Wednesday that quickly went viral. “The tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be entering the containment phase,” he wrote, adding:

Tens of thousands of Americans have died, and Americans are now desperate for sensible policymakers who have the courage to ignore the panic and rely on facts. 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.

The doctor then went through “five key facts” that he says “are being ignored by those calling for continuing the near-total lockdown,” supporting each one with additional evidence.

Those facts, according to Atlas, 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.

Making his case

On Friday evening, Atlas made an appearance on Fox News’ The Story with Martha MacCallum, during which he discussed his article.

“I think we are in a different position now than we were a month ago,” Atlas said, according to RealClearPolitics. He went on:

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 also presented some of that evidence, such as the likely fatality rate from the coronavirus.

“So when you look at the newer data that has come out, the estimates are that the fatality rate is very low,” he said.

He went on: “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 or over 70. 95% of people are over 50. If you’re young and healthy you have essentially zero, near-zero chance of dying.”

This, Atlas argued, combined with the fact that 99.2% of those who have died from the coronavirus had “some underlying condition,” ought to be enough to put an end to a lot of the preventative measures currently in place that are devastating the American economy.

You can watch Atlas’ interview with MacCallum for yourself here, courtesy of RealClearPolitics.

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