Fox News anchor Chris Wallace had harsh words for a prediction from Dr. Scott Atlas, the White House’s controversial coronavirus adviser who said that President Donald Trump is likely to swiftly recover from COVID-19.
Wallace, reacting on Fox News to comments Atlas had made earlier on the network, noted that the doctor is “not an infectious disease expert.”
Atlas said that the 74-year-old Trump is a “very, very healthy guy” who would make a “complete and full and rapid recovery back to normal after his necessary containment period.”
Wallace, in casting doubt on the speculation, said Atlas “is not an epidemiologist, is not an infectious disease specialist. He has no training in this area at all. There are a number of top people on the president’s coronavirus task force who have had grave concerns about Scott Atlas and his scientific bona fides.”
Wallace went on to stress that he hoped Atlas was correct, but added that because Trump is still in the initial stages of COVID-19 it is too early to confidently predict how the disease will afflict him.
“Follow the scientists,” Wallace emphasized. “Listen to people like [Dr.] Anthony Fauci [the nation’s infectious disease expert], listen to people like [Dr.] Deborah Birx [the White House coronavirus task force coordinator] who have been largely cut off. Listen to the independent people who do not have a political axe to grind. And I, frankly, don’t think Scott Atlas is one of those people.”
Fauci has spoken out against Atlas ― a neuroradiologist with no background in infectious diseases ― for being an “outlier” and providing inaccurate information about the coronavirus pandemic and how to stem its spread.
Atlas has downplayed the importance of masks and argued for less coronavirus testing. Instead, he has espoused a “herd immunity” strategy, arguing that as the virus infects younger people, who are rarely at risk of dying from COVID-19, they will naturally generate antibodies against it that will eventually result in a large portion of the population becoming immune.
Fauci, the expert on the issue, has responded that letting COVID-19 run rampant across the U.S. until herd immunity develops would result in an “enormous and totally unacceptable” death toll.
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