Stanford doctor: 5 reasons to stop panic, end total isolation

By WND Staff

Dr. Scott W. Atlas (Twitter)

Government authorities, advisers and analysts who are calling for a continuation of the near-total lockdown of the economy are ignoring five key facts, contends a former top health official at the Stanford Medical Center.

Dr. Scott W. Atlas, now a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, argued in a column for The Hill that Americans “are now desperate for sensible policymakers who have the courage to ignore the panic and rely on facts.”

“Leaders must examine accumulated data to see what has actually happened, rather than keep emphasizing hypothetical projections; combine that empirical evidence with fundamental principles of biology established for decades; and then thoughtfully restore the country to function,” wrote Atlas, the former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center.

The first fact, Atlas said is that the “overwhelming majority of people do not have any significant risk of dying from COVID-19.”

He pointed to a recent Stanford University antibody study that estimates the fatality rate if infected with the coronavirus is likely 0.1% to 0.2%.

The World Health Organization estimate of 3.4% that prompted the isolation policies worldwide was 20 to 30 times higher.

The rate for people 18 to 45 years old in New York City, which accounts for one-third of all U.S. deaths, is 0.01%, or 11 per 100,000 in the population. For people under 18 years old, the rate of death is zero per 100,000.

Fact No. 2: “Protecting older, at-risk people eliminates hospital overcrowding.”

In New York City, which has more than 34,600 hospitalizations, the rate of hospitializations from the virus for those under 18 years of age is 0.01%. Even for people ages 65 to 74, only 1.7% were hospitalized, Atlas argued.

Fact 3: “Vital population immunity is prevented by total isolation policies, prolonging the problem.”

Atlas noted that decades of medical science shows that infection itself allows people to generate an immune response, controlling the spread in the population by “herd immunity.”

“Indeed, that is the main purpose of widespread immunization in other viral diseases — to assist with population immunity,” he said.

“In this virus, we know that medical care is not even necessary for the vast majority of people who are infected,” he said. “It is so mild that half of infected people are asymptomatic, shown in early data from the Diamond Princess ship, and then in Iceland and Italy.”

The asymptomatic population has been “falsely portrayed as a problem requiring mass isolation,” he said.

“In fact, infected people without severe illness are the immediately available vehicle for establishing widespread immunity,” Atlas wrote. “By transmitting the virus to others in the low-risk group who then generate antibodies, they block the network of pathways toward the most vulnerable people, ultimately ending the threat.

“Extending whole-population isolation would directly prevent that widespread immunity from developing,” he argued.

Fact 4: “People are dying because other medical care is not getting done due to hypothetical projections.”

Atlas noted that states and many hospitals abruptly stopped “nonessential” procedures and surgery.

“That prevented diagnoses of life-threatening diseases, like cancer screening, biopsies of tumors now undiscovered and potentially deadly brain aneurysms,” he said.

Fact 5: “We have a clearly defined population at risk who can be protected with targeted measures.”

“The overwhelming evidence all over the world consistently shows that a clearly defined group — older people and others with underlying conditions — is more likely to have a serious illness requiring hospitalization and more likely to die from COVID-19,” he wrote.

Therefore, the appropriate policy, “based on fundamental biology and the evidence already in hand,” is “a more focused strategy.”

That would be to “protect the known vulnerable, self-isolate the mildly sick and open most workplaces and small businesses with some prudent large-group precautions.”

“This would allow the essential socializing to generate immunity among those with minimal risk of serious consequence, while saving lives, preventing overcrowding of hospitals and limiting the enormous harms compounded by continued total isolation,” he said.

“Let’s stop underemphasizing empirical evidence while instead doubling down on hypothetical models. Facts matter.”

Leave a Comment