Thank goodness Dr. Scott Atlas was brought into President Trump’s administration to advise on public health policy.
Dr. Atlas is a healthcare policy academic from the Hoover Institute at Stanford. He has become the latest lightning rod for the controversy around Covid-19 policy and his support for a more targeted response.
Speaking from inside the White House, where he is now Senior Advisor to President Trump and a member of the Coronavirus Task Force, he does not hold back. He tells us that he is “disgusted and dismayed” at the media and public policy establishment.
Freddie Sayers interviewed Dr. Atlas in a broad-reaching discussion about going forward with coronavirus in America. His thoughts on lockdowns are particularly enlightening:
“WE MUST OPEN UP”
Data that came out a few days ago that 46% of the six most common cancers were not diagnosed during this shutdown. Okay, these people, the cancers are there; they didn’t disappear. These are people that will present to the hospital or to their doctor with more later-stage disease, more widespread disease, many of these people will die. 650,000 Americans are on chemotherapy. Half of them didn’t come in for their chemo because they were afraid. You know, two-thirds of screenings for cancer were not done half of the children, immunizations, childhood immunizations did not get done. Eighty-five percent of living organ transplants did not get done.
And then we see the other harms…200,000 cases plus of child abuse in the United during the two months of Spring school closures were not reported because schools are the number one agency where child abuse is noticed. We have one out of four American young adult college-aged adult adults 25% thought of killing themselves in the month of June due to the lockdown. This is the topic that’s, and this is why you open up. That is the reason to open up. The reason a secondary gain might be herd immunity or population immunity. But the reason to open up is what I’ve articulated.
And I think I want to say one more thing, which again, is never talked about in the United States. It may be and
I think it is by people like Sumitra Gupta in the UK. And that is that all of these harms are massive for the working class and the lower socio-economic groups. The people who are upper class the people who are working and can work from home like you’re doing right now. The people who can sip their latte and, you know, complain that their children are underfoot or they have to come up with some extra money to hire a tutor privately. These are people who are not impacted by the lockdowns, but most people must go to work. Most people have no money to hire tutors. Most people are paralyzed when their children are not in school. That’s the reason to open up.