Dr. Scott Atlas, the former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center, spoke out on Monday to explain why the spike of COVID-19 cases across the south doesn’t really actually matter.
Atlas told Fox News that Americans should be hesitant in believing the way the media is portraying the spike in coronavirus cases because it “doesn’t really matter how many cases” there are. Instead, what really matters is “who gets the cases.”
He added that the mortality rate for coronavirus is just .04% for people under age 70, a statistic that is equal to or lower than the seasonal flu. Atlas said that the number of cases is increasing only because younger people are contracting the virus on a larger scale. “The overwhelming majority are younger, healthier people,” Atlas explained. “It only matters if we cannot protect the high-risk people, which we are protecting…how do I know? Because the death rates are not going up.”
“Right now, the cases have been going up for three weeks. We have no increase—in fact, we have a decrease in death rates,” he continued. “You know, it doesn’t matter if you get the illness if you’re going to fully recover and be fine from it. That is what people must understand. For younger, healthier people, there’s not a high risk from this disease at all.”
Atlas went on to say that the United States may be on the path toward “herd immunity,” which occurs when healthy people contract the virus and go on to provide protection for more vulnerable and high-risk people. He then expressed his frustrations with the way the media has been reporting on this pandemic, as the press has focused on COVID-19 hospitalizations when this data does not differentiate between coronavirus-positive patients who are hospitalized for reasons that have nothing to do with the virus.
“When I looked at every single hospital area in Texas today, 15-20% of people in the hospital as inpatients are COVID-positive patients. That means 80-85% have nothing to do with COVID-19. And the same thing goes with some of these other states. There are people hospitalized, a large number, because they are tested as COVID-positive, somehow they are categorized as COVID hospitalizations,” he said. Atlas concluded by saying it is “ridiculous” to blame the spike in cases on reopening businesses, instead putting the blame on “large protests” at the end of May and through June. “It’s not the guy getting his hair cut in the barbershop,” he said.