Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Scott Atlas Is the Latest Punching Bag

 
Dr. Scott Atlas with President Donald Trump at a White House Coronavirus briefing

Dr. Robert Redfield is furious with Dr. Scott Atlas, who has the nerve to claim that he is providing legitimate scientific evidence to President Trump. CBS News claims that Redfield said the information Atlas was presenting to Trump was misleading; then he stated that “everything he says is false.” So much for professional, open, scientific inquiry.

Dr. Atlas is frustrated and perplexed about the efforts to defame him, and so are his colleagues. Dr. Jayanta Bhattacharya, an eminent epidemiologist and medical professor at Stanford University and who has been seen interviewed by Peter Robinson multiple times for Uncommon Knowledge, responded tactfully:

Dr. Redfield is a prominent and respected scientist, so I respect his opinion, but I don’t know what he’s thinking.

I suspect he’s thinking that he is appearing inept or at worst, incompetent.

The more we learn about Covid-19, the more the CDC demonstrates its inability to provide timely and responsible information to the public.

Why has Dr. Atlas drawn so much ire from his colleagues?—

Atlas is known for pushing back on coronavirus panic with scientific evidence, including in his view that quarantines should target the vulnerable and infected rather than the healthy, the historic norm.

He has also provided the following summary that is supported by the latest scientific evidence:

1. Children and young adults are at an extremely low risk for serious illness or death from COVID-19.

2. Lockdowns are extremely harmful.

3. Children do not frequently spread this virus to adults.

4. Immunity to this virus is not just because of detected antibodies [i.e., you probably don’t have to get COVID-19 to have some immune defense against it].

5. The safest, strongest strategy for our nation is to diligently protect the vulnerable and open society to end the lockdown.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is also unhappy about Dr. Atlas’ advice and referred to him as an “outlier.” Others have also tried to discredit Dr. Atlas because he is not an epidemiologist. Although one publication tried to identify him only as a radiologist, his credentials are quite extensive:

Prior to arriving at the Hoover Institution, Atlas had a highly distinguished 25-year career as an academic physician at our country’s finest medical centers. After receiving his M.D. degree at the University of Chicago School of Medicine, he was chief resident at Northwestern University Medical Center. He received his fellowship training at the University of Pennsylvania, where he rapidly emerged as an expert in neuroradiology. He has been a leading clinician and researcher into novel applications of advanced MRI in disorders of the brain and spine, and a leading educator on these advances all over the world.

I suspect that Trump was not only impressed with Dr. Atlas’ credentials, but his outspoken personality probably preceded him—he’s speaking on behalf of the public, not his own reputation.

Trump had to delight in adding an “outlier” to his team.

Published in Healthcare
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  1. Arahant Member

    Susan Quinn: Trump had to delight in adding an “outlier” to his team.

    We need many more of them out there, rather than this “consensus” stuff. Consensus is not how science is done. Einstein was an outlier. Darwin was an outlier. Etc.

    • #1
    • September 30, 2020, at 8:14 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    They are trying to force us to accept “one science” over another. It’s deceptive and unprofessional.

    • #2
    • September 30, 2020, at 8:16 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  3. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn: Trump had to delight in adding an “outlier” to his team.

    I guess “outlier” is another term for non-swamp dweller . . .

    • #3
    • September 30, 2020, at 8:23 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. Rodin Member

    One of the ironies of the pandemic is that when the scourge eases, as it is as measured by hospitalizations and death, is that the federal role recedes if you support federalism. This diminishes the voice of the President and his advisors as governors are less reliant on them. If we had Dr Atlas instead of Fauci early on the federal government would have done the good things but given less cover to the Blue State governors in their draconian measures and continued stepping on the necks of their people.

    • #4
    • September 30, 2020, at 8:29 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    One of the ironies of the pandemic is that when the scourge eases, as it is as measured by hospitalizations and death, is that the federal role recedes if you support federalism. This diminishes the voice of the President and his advisors as governors are less reliant on them. If we had Dr Atlas instead of Fauci early on the federal government would have done the good things but given less cover to the Blue State governors in their draconian measures and continued stepping on the necks of their people.

    I can’t help but wonder, given how poorly the “scientists” have managed their facts, whether there will be legitimate assessment down the road about how decisions were made. Somehow I think they will initially put it off an assessment because they will need time to reflect–and their reflections will take months, then years, and the truth will not be known. That’s so unfair.

    • #5
    • September 30, 2020, at 8:33 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  6. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    I always laugh at my liberal friends when they get the vapors talking about the Catholic Church and its attempt to suppress science back in the day. I say that scientists and physicians do a pretty good job of suppressing each other when views diverge from scientific orthodoxy. Sometimes these heretics are wrong, but many times they are right. And their reputations and/or their careers are destroyed before the rest of science comes along. We see this every day with climate change, COVID, but in the past we had leading scientists even denying that washing your hands before delivering babies was a good idea:

    From Wikipedia: “Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis[A] (German: [ˈɪɡnaːts ˈzɛml̩vaɪs]HungarianSemmelweis Ignác Fülöp; 1 July 1818 – 13 August 1865) was a Hungarian physician and scientist, now known as an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. Described as the “saviour of mothers”,[2] Semmelweis discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever (also known as “childbed fever”) could be drastically cut by the use of hand disinfection in obstetrical clinics. Puerperal fever was common in mid-19th-century hospitals and often fatal. Semmelweis proposed the practice of washing hands with chlorinated lime solutions in 1847 while working in Vienna General Hospital‘s First Obstetrical Clinic, where doctors’ wards had three times the mortality of midwives’ wards.[3] He published a book of his findings in Etiology, Concept and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever.

    Despite various publications of results where hand washing reduced mortality to below 1%, Semmelweis’s observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical opinions of the time and his ideas were rejected by the medical community. He could offer no acceptable scientific explanation for his findings, and some doctors were offended at the suggestion that they should wash their hands and mocked him for it. In 1865, the increasingly outspoken Semmelweis supposedly suffered a nervous breakdown and was committed to an asylum by his colleagues. He died 14 days later after being beaten by the guards, from a gangrenous wound on his right hand which might have been caused by the beating. Semmelweis’s practice earned widespread acceptance only years after his death, when Louis Pasteur confirmed the germ theory, and Joseph Lister, acting on the French microbiologist‘s research, practised and operated using hygienic methods, with great success.”

     

    • #6
    • September 30, 2020, at 8:33 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I always laugh at my liberal friends when they get the vapors talking about the Catholic Church and its attempt to suppress science back in the day. I say that scientists and physicians do a pretty good job of suppressing each other when views diverge from scientific orthodoxy. Sometimes these heretics are wrong, but many times they are right. And their reputations and/or their careers are destroyed before the rest of science comes along. We see this every day with climate change, COVID, but in the past we had leading scientists even denying that washing your hands before delivering babies was a good idea:

    From Wikipedia: “Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis[A] (German: [ˈɪɡnaːts ˈzɛml̩vaɪs]; Hungarian: Semmelweis Ignác Fülöp; 1 July 1818 – 13 August 1865) was a Hungarian physician and scientist, now known as an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. Described as the “saviour of mothers”,[2] Semmelweis discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever (also known as “childbed fever”) could be drastically cut by the use of hand disinfection in obstetrical clinics. Puerperal fever was common in mid-19th-century hospitals and often fatal. Semmelweis proposed the practice of washing hands with chlorinated lime solutions in 1847 while working in Vienna General Hospital‘s First Obstetrical Clinic, where doctors’ wards had three times the mortality of midwives’ wards.[3] He published a book of his findings in Etiology, Concept and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever.

    Despite various publications of results where hand washing reduced mortality to below 1%, Semmelweis’s observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical opinions of the time and his ideas were rejected by the medical community. He could offer no acceptable scientific explanation for his findings, and some doctors were offended at the suggestion that they should wash their hands and mocked him for it. In 1865, the increasingly outspoken Semmelweis supposedly suffered a nervous breakdown and was committed to an asylum by his colleagues. He died 14 days later after being beaten by the guards, from a gangrenous wound on his right hand which might have been caused by the beating. Semmelweis’s practice earned widespread acceptance only years after his death, when Louis Pasteur confirmed the germ theory, and Joseph Lister, acting on the French microbiologist‘s research, practised and operated using hygienic methods, with great success.”

     

    Thank you for sharing this tragic story, @gossamercat. I guess more people will have to die before the truth is known and even then, who knows? 

    • #7
    • September 30, 2020, at 8:40 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    I know that science has always been political, in the jockeying for position and credibility sense, but it is now blatantly political, as @gossamercat has pointed out. I don’t think the scientists have begun to realize how they have been corrupted by their demands to be legitimized, not by good research, but by the politics of the day.

    • #8
    • September 30, 2020, at 8:45 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Bishop Wash Member

    Susan Quinn: Others have also tried to discredit Dr. Atlas because he is not an epidemiologist.

    I heard a top of the hour radio report and when talking about Dr. Atlas the news reader made a big point of throwing in “who isn’t an epidemiologist”. The fear peddlers have a narrative to maintain.

    • #9
    • September 30, 2020, at 8:48 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):
    From Wikipedia: “Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis[A] (German: [ˈɪɡnaːts ˈzɛml̩vaɪs]HungarianSemmelweis Ignác Fülöp; 1 July 1818 – 13 August 1865) was a Hungarian physician and scientist, now known as an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. Described as the “saviour of mothers”,[2] Semmelweis discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever (also known as “childbed fever”) could be drastically cut by the use of hand disinfection in obstetrical clinics.

    Thank you, GC. Every time I hear drivel about “consensus science,” I recall Dr. Semmelweis.

    If you haven’t heard both sides of a scientific question, then you don’t understand the question.

    • #10
    • September 30, 2020, at 8:48 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  11. Arahant Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I know that science has always been political, in the jockeying for position and credibility sense, but it is now blatantly political, as Gossamercat has pointed out. I don’t think the scientists have begun to realize how they have been corrupted by their demands to be legitimized, not by good research, but by the politics of the day.

    It has been politicized for at least 170 years that I can remember right off the bat. While our Founding Fathers were saying that the black man was equal, a well-respected French (pseudo-)scientist came up with a theory that the races were very different and that blacks were only suitable for slaves. This became the gospel in the South in the late antebellum period. Then there was all the politicization of science during the Progressive period, which we have not left since. It was seen in Margaret Sanger’s eugenics programs. It was seen in Nazi Germany and in the Soviet Union. It is certainly nothing new.

    • #11
    • September 30, 2020, at 8:50 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. Stad Thatcher

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Others have also tried to discredit Dr. Atlas because he is not an epidemiologist.

    I heard a top of the hour radio report and when talking about Dr. Atlas the news reader made a big point of throwing in “who isn’t an epidemiologist”. The fear peddlers have a narrative to maintain.

    The left has no problem with non-climatologists weighing in on climate change, so why can’t Dr. Atlas have his say? He doesn’t try to hide the fact he’s not an epidemiologist, unlike the “scientists” on the left . . .

    • #12
    • September 30, 2020, at 8:57 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  13. Arahant Member

    Stad (View Comment):
    The left has no problem with non-climatologists weighing in on climate change, so why can’t Dr. Atlas have his say? He doesn’t try to hide the fact he’s not an epidemiologist, unlike the “scientists” on the left . . .

    You mean like Al Gore or certain other lawyers?

    • #13
    • September 30, 2020, at 9:00 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  14. Ralphie Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    One of the ironies of the pandemic is that when the scourge eases, as it is as measured by hospitalizations and death, is that the federal role recedes if you support federalism. This diminishes the voice of the President and his advisors as governors are less reliant on them. If we had Dr Atlas instead of Fauci early on the federal government would have done the good things but given less cover to the Blue State governors in their draconian measures and continued stepping on the necks of their people.

    I agree. I listened to a John Solomon podcast with an ethics dr. that was fired by NIH.https://justthenews.com/podcasts/john-solomon-reports/dr-johnathan-fishbein-dr-fauci-its-time-new-blood

    It was interesting in that I learned that Fauci has been head of the NIAID longer than Hoover was of the FBI. And under Fauci an experiment of AIDS drugs was done with foster children that was ethically questionable seeing how their parents did not have good contact with their children. Solomon reported on that at the time it happened. He also has a co patent on an interferon drug(from memory) that he collects royalties on after developing with tax dollars. As Rand Paul says, he’s not all that.

    I also learned who Dr. Donald Henderson was. More of us Americans should know his name. He lead the effort to eliminate small pox. 

    • #14
    • September 30, 2020, at 9:01 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    “It’s science!” is the go-to argument for the intellectually lazy.

    Proven science is very rare. A scientist with integrity welcomes opposing studies and views. That’s how you get from theory to fact. You test the theories against a myriad of scenarios and avoid making single-factor analyses. We didn’t do any of that for Covid. Replace Fauci with Atlas.

    • #15
    • September 30, 2020, at 9:06 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  16. Terry Mott Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Others have also tried to discredit Dr. Atlas because he is not an epidemiologist.

    I heard a top of the hour radio report and when talking about Dr. Atlas the news reader made a big point of throwing in “who isn’t an epidemiologist”. The fear peddlers have a narrative to maintain.

    The left has no problem with non-climatologists weighing in on climate change, so why can’t Dr. Atlas have his say? He doesn’t try to hide the fact he’s not an epidemiologist, unlike the “scientists” on the left . . .

    The only “legitimate” scientists are those who agree with the left. Why? Because all the legitimate scientists agree with the left, so if a scientist disagrees with the left, this proves they’re not legitimate.

    The science is settled. Why do you hate science?

    • #16
    • September 30, 2020, at 9:06 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I know that science has always been political, in the jockeying for position and credibility sense, but it is now blatantly political, as Gossamercat has pointed out. I don’t think the scientists have begun to realize how they have been corrupted by their demands to be legitimized, not by good research, but by the politics of the day.

    It has been politicized for at least 170 years that I can remember right off the bat. While our Founding Fathers were saying that the black man was equal, a well-respected French (pseudo-)scientist came up with a theory that the races were very different and that blacks were only suitable for slaves. This became the gospel in the South in the late antebellum period. Then there was all the politicization of science during the Progressive period, which we have not left since. It was seen in Margaret Sanger’s eugenics programs. It was seen in Nazi Germany and in the Soviet Union. It is certainly nothing new.

    I see what you’re saying and that’s all true, @arahant. I just wonder if these times are just like the past, or are there any new developments in the politicization. 

    • #17
    • September 30, 2020, at 9:34 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Arahant Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I just wonder if these times are just like the past, or are there any new developments in the politicization.

    No, not new at all. Same types doing it. It’s the “End of History” types. They always believe they are at the end of all that is to be revealed and that they can perfect man.

    • #18
    • September 30, 2020, at 9:40 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Unsk Member

    Great Post Susan.

    We need Dr Atlas to take charge of the Health Care bureaucracy and we need to dump all the others. Hopefully after Trump wins in November Trump will be able to do that. 

    • #19
    • September 30, 2020, at 10:13 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Maguffin Member

    It’s amazing to me that at this stage we still have a mish-mash of how we are tracking numbers, what numbers are most important, how we are reporting them, and the conclusions drawn from them. In March and April, I thought people deserved some leeway at all levels of government because I knew that they had to make decisions quickly with little information. But that time has passed and it seems like the decision making hasn’t improved significantly.

    I’m not getting my information straight from the COVID-19 taskforce or the CDC, but then again I doubt that most people are. And what filters down to me is a confusing mess of steaming refuse in terms of telling me where we were, where we are, and where we are going.

    I’m a little embarrassed about it frankly. I expected better of our systems.

    I should remember to always expect the worst so I am always pleasantly surprised. 

    Guess it could be some other system – in Soviet Russia the worst always expects you.

    Yeah, I don’t know what the means either. My funny has been broken lately.

    • #20
    • September 30, 2020, at 10:59 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Great Post Susan.

    We need Dr Atlas to take charge of the Health Care bureaucracy and we need to dump all the others. Hopefully after Trump wins in November Trump will be able to do that.

    I wonder if that’s a job that Dr. Atlas would even want, @unsk? Even if many of the others were dumped?

    • #21
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:08 AM PDT
    • Like
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Maguffin (View Comment):
    I’m not getting my information straight from the COVID-19 taskforce or the CDC, but then again I doubt that most people are. And what filters down to me is a confusing mess of steaming refuse in terms of telling me where we were, where we are, and where we are going.

    My funny is on the fritz, too, @Maguffin, but recharges periodically. I think the big reason why the data are a mess is primarily political, and because nobody really knows what works. And of course, the media is wedded to the idea that things must look as bad as they possibly can. Too many conflicting interests.

    • #22
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:11 AM PDT
    • Like
  23. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    I have friends in Florida. They say there state is now completely open except for everyone now has to wear masks. One group I followed said Disney World is open and as crowded as much as the pre-pandemic levels.

     

    • #23
    • September 30, 2020, at 12:28 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    I have friends in Florida. They say there state is now completely open except for everyone now has to wear masks. One group I followed said Disney World is open and as crowded as much as the pre-pandemic levels.

     

    Not everyone has to wear masks everywhere. It seems to be guided by county expectations. When we shop in Osceola County, the businesses have required masks.

    • #24
    • September 30, 2020, at 12:52 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. SParker Member

    Avik Roy made a good point on the American Wonk podcast here. It was: you can’t pass your Medical boards without studying epidemiology. It’s possible there’s some essential esoteric knowledge that you get only through advanced study and initiation ceremonies, but I think I need to see that case made after a half-year of error. More likely it’s a situation where a clinician is exactly the right tool for the job.

    • #25
    • September 30, 2020, at 6:46 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  26. The Reticulator Member

    SParker (View Comment):

    Avik Roy made a good point on the American Wonk podcast here. It was: you can’t pass your Medical boards without studying epidemiology. It’s possible there’s some essential esoteric knowledge that you get only through advanced study and initiation ceremonies, but I think I need to see that case made after a half-year of error. More likely it’s a situation where a clinician is exactly the right tool for the job.

     A couple weeks ago I got to wondering if an epidemiologist is really the right person to be giving advice about an epidemic. It’s hard for an epidemiologist to say that there is more to life than epidemics, and then take the blame when an epidemic turns out to be more severe than he predicted. He can get by with mistakes of overestimation but not underestimation. But really, I don’t know. Not all epidemiologists go around saying the more restrictions, the better. So as far as I’m concerned, the jury is still out on that question. 

    • #26
    • September 30, 2020, at 7:51 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  27. Stad Thatcher

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):
    Proven science is very rare. A scientist with integrity welcomes opposing studies and views.

    He would even challenge others to disprove his work.

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):
    Replace Fauci with Atlas.

    I think Fauci could be persuaded to retire if Trump paid him a personal maskless visit . . .

    • #27
    • October 2, 2020, at 1:42 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  28. Arahant Member

    Stad (View Comment):
    I think Fauci could be persuaded to retire if Trump paid him a personal maskless visit . . .

    “Nice lungs you’ve got there, old man.”

    • #28
    • October 2, 2020, at 1:44 PM PDT
    • 5 likes