Dr. Scott Atlas pushes for reopening and asks, ‘aren’t schools an essential business?’
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Dr. Scott Atlas from the Hoover Institute has been a critic of the fear mongering tactics health officials have been using when it comes to reporting data from the coronavirus pandemic.
Pushing back against a recent model from the University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation that projects over 134,000 Americans will die of COVID-19 by August 4th, Dr. Scott Atlas explained, “we should look at the evidence. We don’t need to rely on hypothetical projections.”
Dr. Atlas has explained many times on KUSI News that the rising case numbers aren’t something to freak out about. Instead, Dr. Atlas looked at the data to find the large majority of new cases are occurring in young people, and young people are at low risk of experiencing any major complications of the virus.
Using this fact as evidence, Dr. Atlas is calling for schools to reopen, since young people have so little to worry about in regard to the coronavirus. “We know it’s factually true and proven all over the world that people under 18 have very little, if any, risk of a serious illness and essentially no risk of dying,” Atlas said.
On Good Morning San Diego, Dr. Atlas said we are one of the only countries that is not planning to reopen our schools.
“The data is clear. Whether it’s from Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Spain, the United States, Asia, all over the world, children do not have any serious disease. Children almost never transmit the disease. In fact, Switzerland is contemplating stopping even testing children because it’s irrelevant.”
Continuing, “there is not serious risk of even getting the illness. But that’s not even the point here, I want to go even further. By now, we know who is at risk. K-12 teachers in the United States, half of them are under 41 years of age, they’re not at risk. 82% are under 55-years-old, if there is a handful, which there are, teachers in the high-risk category, don’t they know how to protect themselves with their so called 6-feet spacing and mask rules? And if they’re still afraid, even if they don’t want to do that, then they can teach from home. I don’t understand why they have to lock up schools.”
On the national level, Vice President Mike Pence has echoed Atlas saying, “it is absolutely essential that we get kids back into classrooms for in-person learning.”
President Trump has also been an advocate of reopening schools for the Fall 2020 semester for the same reasons.
Furthermore on Tuesday, Trump said, “do we want to reopen the schools? Everybody wants it, the moms want it, the dads want it, the kids want it. It’s time to do it. You know, our mortality rate is right now at a level that people don’t talk about, but it’s down tenfold.”
President Trump also tweeted Wednesday about the controversy surrounding reopening schools.
The CDC’s director, Dr. Robert Redfield, had emphasized that his agency’s guidelines were only recommendations, and he urged schools to find ways to reopen while minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
“Nothing would cause me greater sadness than to see any school district or school use our guidance as a reason not to reopen,” Redfield said.
The CDC’s guidance recommends that students and teachers wear masks whenever feasible, spread out desks, stagger schedules, eat meals in classrooms instead of the cafeteria and add physical barriers between bathroom sinks.