Stanford doctors target Trump’s appointment and former aide Scott Atlas

In the tight world of academic medicine, scientists are proud to present a united and unmasked face to those outside their ranks.

But this week, in a scathing letter, dozens of top faculty at Stanford University Medical School joined their former colleague, Dr. What inspired Scott Atlas to promote what he calls “the lies and misrepresentation of science”.

Atlas, a clinical radiologist and senior fellow at the conservative think tank Hoover Institution, was recently appointed to the White House Coronavirus Virus Force by President Donald Trump.

As a presidential advisor to the virus, he has made controversial statements about the control of the pandemic, which has killed more than 178,000 Americans.

“According to a letter previously signed by Dr. Philip A. Pizzo,” many of his opinions and statements run counter to established science and, by doing so, give public-health officials and the science that dictates credible public health policy Weak Dean of Stanford School of Medicine; Stafford’s chief of infectious diseases Dr. Deputy Singh, and professor of epidemiology and population health, Drs. Bonnie Maldonado and 105 others.

The signatures of the letter include several national experts in the university’s departments of infectious diseases, epidemiology and microbiology, including Drs. Also included is David Reimann, who led the way in discovering new human pathogens, and Drs. Lucy S. Tomkins, who heads Stanford’s infection prevention division. and control.

“Our goal with this paper was to provide science-evidence based commentary on some of the core issues addressed by Scott Atlas and provide context and clarity,” said Pizzo, who now heads the Stanford Distinguished Career Institute.

“We are motivated by our responsibility to do all we can for the protection and promotion of public health and well-being,” he said.

Atlas, a senior fellow at the conservative think tank Hoover Institution, was recently appointed to the White House Coronavirus Virus Force by President Donald Trump. He did not respond to interview requests.

As a clinical radiologist, he specializes in interpreting images taken by X-rays, MRIs and CT scans. He served at Stanford University Medical Center from 1998 to 2012 as a professor and head of neurodyology.

65-year-old Atlas, editor of the premier textbook in the field, magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and spine. He received a BS degree in biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana and an MD from the Chicago School of Medicine.

At the Hoover Institution, he has written about free market care and economic policy. His papers focus on the impact of government and the private sector on access, quality, and pricing in healthcare. Atlas served as a health adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign for the presidency.

Trump announced the Atlas appointment at a White House briefing in mid-August, saying he had “many good ideas” and would take the administration’s efforts to deal with the epidemic to “a new level”.

On Friday, Atlas said on Twitter, “I was asked by the President of the United States to help formulate healthcare policy during the biggest healthcare crisis in a century. My extensive background in both medical science and healthcare policy provides a unique and urgently needed perspective on the matter. ”

“I have not been hired to be an epidemiologist,” he told CNN, defending his lack of expertise in infectious disease. “I am someone who has worked in health care policy for over 15 years, and before that, I had a 25-year career… in a very high level of medical science and integrating a lot of complex stuff – infectious Specific information from a high level sub-specialist in. Disease, Pediatrics, Oncology, Cardiac Medicine. ”

On the conservative Steve Debate show, Atlas spoke in favor of allowing the virus to infect young and healthy Americans, saying his immunity would protect others.

“We can allow a lot of people to get infected,” he said. “Those who are not at risk of dying or having a serious illness in the hospital, we should be fine with letting them get infected, create immunity on our own and the more immune the community is, the better we can eradicate the virus.”

He told Fox News that “American lives are being destroyed …” urging the removal of trade restrictions.

Atlas also said that the school should open as soon as possible.

Atlas said at a Florida government press conference, “The disadvantages of not opening schools are really tremendous and it all goes with the evidence that children are at very low risk from the disease.”

Stanford faculty challenged their claim, stating the proliferation of data that the safest route to herd immunity is through the deployment of safe vaccines, not infections; Crowded indoor spaces can greatly increase the risk of viral spread, and in children the disease, while unusual, can cause severe short-term and long-term consequences.

“Failure to follow science – or deliberately misrepresent science – will do a great deal of harm,” the letter warns.