October 23, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Trump elevates Scott Atlas, a medical doctor with a rosier coronavirus outlook

Trump elevates Scott Atlas, a doctor with a rosier coronavirus outlook

Atlas, upbeat and relentlessly on concept that Us residents must resume life as substantially as they can, is the stay embodiment of the president’s Covid-is-not-that-large-of-a-offer solution. The place university superintendents and soccer meeting officers see a danger of the virus’s spread this slide, he cautions from far too-rigorous measures. All through Fox News appearances, he has downplayed the want for students to don experience coverings or follow social distancing if faculties do reopen.

“It is demonstrated young children have no important danger,” he explained all through a July 15 Television physical appearance. It’s a line that Trump has parroted but that has not been borne out in districts where in-man or woman discovering has resumed: Educational facilities in Ga, North Carolina and Indiana have had to shut down shortly after starting up the year due to the fact of constructive scenarios.

In personal conferences at the White Home, Atlas has irritated other aides by arguing towards expanded Covid-19 screening. He opposed a proposal championed by Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White Property coronavirus job drive, to scale up household screening through techniques these types of as saliva exams. And not long ago, in a job drive assembly, he explained to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease skilled, that science does not definitively help federal government mandates on donning masks. (The Facilities for Illness Manage and Avoidance recommends that Us citizens have on masks when they interact with those outdoors of the dwelling and in cases when social distancing is not probable.)

Atlas’ elevation inside the White Household arrives at a time when Trump aides are trying to give the perception of accomplishing anything they can to battle the virus and locate a vaccine around 80 days from the election, as the amount of an infection climbs and the United States’ screening potential falls brief. Trump has sidelined or lashed out at quite a few of his top wellness experts, together with Fauci and Birx, and has welcomed the various clinical viewpoint Atlas supplies, a single senior administration formal claimed.

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Atlas declined to comment when reached by mobile phone.

Critics, like other conservatives and health and fitness officials, say he is shading science and specifics with a partisan lens to elevate himself and attain electric power in Republican circles.

“At the stop of the day, this is a trouble for Stanford,” stated a single previous colleague from the Hoover Establishment, the appropriate-leaning think tank at the university in which Atlas is a fellow. “Look, we have an administration that is lying about the virus, and they are grasping for any one in a senior academic job. When they can use that branding and that title, it is quick reliability and that is what the administration is searching for.”

Judd Deere, the White Household deputy push secretary, said in a assertion: “We are all in this battle alongside one another, and only the media has distorted and diminished Dr. Atlas’ remarkably acclaimed job merely mainly because he has arrive to serve the President. Dr. Atlas, like all of the health care authorities in the Administration, is working to carry out the President’s selection one particular priority: defending the health and safety of the American people.”

Atlas very first arrived to the interest of the Trump administration the way it finds so numerous prime officials: by way of his appearances on Fox News. His reviews on the coronavirus lockdown and the will need to reopen the economy and universities caught the attention of the president and various leading aides, together with Jared Kushner, in accordance to a next senior administration official.

A handful of months back, Atlas formally joined the administration as an adviser, and in a quick time he has turn into a frequent presence in the Oval Office environment and all over the White Residence complicated.

He spoke publicly at a White Home party about school reopening and appeared at 1 of the president’s evening briefings, the only medical specialist to do so in latest months. He has rapidly established himself as a voice pushing for the resumption of every day activity, like the participating in of college or university soccer and opening of schools — which Trump advisers and aides see as a important marker of normalcy that will aid Trump’s reelection marketing campaign.

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Far additional significantly, he’s component of a tiny team of advisers who satisfy just about every morning to chart the day by day response to Covid-19: a group that contains lengthy-standing aides like Kushner and Stephen Miller. He has obtained influence so promptly that he even will help to put together the president in the Oval Office environment for the freshly revived night briefings and tends to make suggestions for Trump’s opening remarks, according to interviews with six senior administration officers and Republicans near to the White Home.

Atlas usually queries or spars with other administration officials about info on the distribute of the virus, or the efficacy of the government’s demanding men and women to have on masks, or the merits of broadening testing amongst the broader population — all of which other overall health gurus look at critical planks in combating the virus, a form of Pandemic 101.

He has become the president’s go-to Covid-19 doctor, the anti-Fauci, even if he does not have a track record in infectious disorders or epidemiology. In its place, his specialty lies in radiology and neuroradiology, topics he taught for a lot of many years as a professor and chief of neuroradiology at the Stanford College health-related Centre.

“There is practically nothing inherently poor with possessing a administration chief of a job pressure who is not a matter-make a difference pro, like an epidemiologist,” said Juliette Kayyem, a previous top rated Obama Section of Homeland Protection formal who was heavily associated in the response to the H1N1 pandemic.

“Every crisis has brains and muscle,” Kayyem additional. “You have the researchers who know how to get the vaccine and secure us from the virus, and then you have the men and women who get matters done, but Dr. Atlas doesn’t seem to healthy into both. The only point that will materialize is that he will be a further impediment to both authentic science or authentic action.”

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In addition to his exploration at the Hoover Establishment on wellness treatment policy and pricing, Atlas has encouraged past presidential candidates, like Rudy Giuliani in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. At the White Residence, he is functioning as a paid out particular governing administration staff.

Two colleagues from the Hoover Institution praised Atlas’ operate as serious and proof-based mostly.

“He is a arduous scientist,” claimed Paul Peterson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Establishment and a professor at Harvard University with whom Atlas not too long ago wrote an op-ed on the reopening of colleges. “Just glance at his prior research. All the things he states is backed up with citations.”

Michael Boskin, an economics professor at Stanford and a senior fellow at Hoover, additional: “Scott is a extremely valued colleague. He brings an individual from the leading of educational medicine’s standpoint to overall health coverage, which complements the economists, law firm and others working on the issue, and since he has joined Hoover, he has been an crucial section of the discussion in and around well being plan.”

Earlier colleagues and other wellbeing gurus say Atlas is a person who often likes to be in the middle of the motion and has normally been intrigued in getting power — and that now incorporates his placement inside the White Dwelling.

Trump “has uncovered an individual who will choose him back to 2019 who suggests, ‘Don’t wear masks. Open the colleges,’” reported Kayyem, the former Homeland Protection formal. “We are going by this. We’re not heading back again.

“The technique of see no evil could be doing the job for Trump, but it is not performing for America. This is just a lot more of the similar.”