The Atlas Society Asks Scott Atlas

September 23, 2021 01:00:48
The Atlas Society Asks Scott Atlas
The Atlas Society Presents - The Atlas Society Asks
The Atlas Society Asks Scott Atlas
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Show Notes

Dr. Scott Atlas, a radiologist and political commentator, served as an advisor on the Trump White House Coronavirus Task Force. He is the author of the upcoming book, A Plague Upon Our House: My Fight at the Trump White House to Stop COVID from Destroying America, which comes out in November, as well as the 2020 book Restoring Quality Health Care: A Six-Point Plan for Comprehensive Reform at Lower Cost. He is also the Robert Wesson Senior Fellow in health care policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Everyone and welcome to the 71st episode of the Atlas society asks. My name is Jennifer on Jew Grossman. My friends know me as JAG. I'm the CEO of the Atlas society not named after our guests today. Um, we are the leading nonprofit, introducing young people to the ideas of Iran in fun, creative ways like graphic novels, animated videos, and like, uh, we're also doing something a little bit different today. This episode is sponsored by author Russel Hassan. Um, he's written a lot of books on objectivism on philosophy on libertarianism. The guy is quite prolific, so we are going to be putting that link, uh, into the zoom, uh, tech zoom chat, as well as the other chats where we are live. Um, today we are joined by Dr. Scott Atlas, uh, before I even begin to, uh, introduce our guest, who's joining us, uh, just flew into Washington DC. Speaker 0 00:01:06 I want to remind all of you who are watching us on zoom on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, on YouTube. This is a very unique opportunity. So, uh, go ahead and use that comment section to start typing in your questions. If you can keep them short and we'll get to as many of them as we can. So our special guest today, Dr. Scott Atlas, he's a radiologist and a healthcare policy expert, chorus. He served as an advisor on the Trump white house coronavirus task force. He is author of restoring quality health care, a six point plan for comprehensive reform at lower costs and his new book, which is available for pre-order and is going to be released later in November is a plague upon our house. My fight at the Trump white house to stop COVID from destroying America, uh, as a professor of radiology and chief of neurodiverse dialysis at Stanford university, Dr. Atlas has trained over a hundred neuro radiology fellows, and he is editor of the leading textbook on the subject. Currently, Dr. Atlas is a senior fellow in healthcare policy at Stanford university's Hoover Institute. Dr. Atlas. Welcome again, thank you so much for joining us. Speaker 1 00:02:42 Thanks for having me, Jennifer. Speaker 0 00:02:44 So, uh, president Trump invited you to join the white house coronavirus task force, I guess it must've been July of 2020. I know we're going to be able to learn more about this, um, by, uh, by reading your book, but, but over overall, how well did the task force serve the president and what were some of the biggest surprises that you encountered in that role? Speaker 1 00:03:13 Sure. So I was asked by the president to come and help at the end of July, uh, beginning of August. And, um, and that's because I was a healthcare policy expert. I had, I had not been a professor in medical school, uh, for almost a decade. I would full-time was healthcare policy. Uh, but in any event I came to the task force, uh, but I was the advisor to the president and the task force. Um, you asked me a complicated question. How, how well did the task force do because the task force had sort of two separate components. If you want to think of it this way. One was the operational side, the logistical side, the, uh, getting equipment and, uh, funding and resources, personnel, and other things going. Uh, then there was, uh, the medical side of the task force and the main medical part of the task force were three people, uh, Dr. Speaker 1 00:04:18 Fowchee, Dr Birx and Dr. Redfield. And, uh, so I would say it this way, the, the logistical side, the ramping up of resource allocation, uh, the, uh, very complex things that were done with operation warp speed to get drugs and, uh, particularly vaccines expedited that went very well. The medical side was a shock and, uh, it was shocking, uh, in terms of an incredible, uh, I've never worked with people like that before. Let's put it that way. I've always been, I've had, you know, 25, 30 years at the top medical centers in the world. Uh, I've been working in health policy for more than 15 years. And, uh, you walk into a room, you have to know what you're talking about. And when there is a difference of opinion, uh, it's a debate about the evidence and in the task force, the medical side, there was an, uh, a shockingly low level of knowledge of extremely low level of the literature, a lack of critical thinking that belies anyone that would call themselves a scientist. Speaker 1 00:05:35 And, uh, I think we saw the results. Uh, you know, we see people, uh, erratic statements coming out of those three, uh, things that were totally contrary and still are contrary to science. Uh, totally, uh, a total lack of knowledge about the state of the literature, uh, uh, statements made that were contrary to fundamentals of, of, of upper respiratory infections that we all knew, but the most flagrant, uh, shocking behavior of all, regardless of all the political, you know, these are bureaucrats that they've navigated the system in Washington to keep their jobs for decades, not because of their neutrality, but because of their skill and operating that kind of environment. Uh, you know, I'm an outsider. I was there for one reason because the country was off the rails and they asked me to help, uh, and they had nothing to do with politics whatsoever. Speaker 1 00:06:34 My role. Uh, so I came in there, uh, realizing that there was a completely off-course solution to the pandemic. We were locking down. We were sacrificing our children by closing schools, destroying families, particularly lower income and poor people. Uh, and instead of focusing the protection on the known group who is at high risk, because it is not true that everyone is at high risk from this virus, it is only people with a certain CRA characteristics, meaning high age and on multiple underlying comorbidities are the people at risk. Uh, and there are other exceptions to that, but basically that's the risk group. And so, uh, instead of focusing on protecting them, there was this massive lockdown and what the lockdown did was it was a girl's failure. It failed to protect the elderly. They were dying by the scores, even in those, in the nursing homes where there's a protective environment to begin with, and they were destroying everybody else on top of it. And so, uh, there was a lack of recognition of the data. There was a lack of understanding. I was the only one was bringing in scientific papers into the meetings. And I think the readers will be completely shocked at what happened when they read what I said. Speaker 0 00:08:01 And w we're going to talk a little bit more about focused, targeted protection, because I think one thing that people don't understand was how much further, how much more aggressive that you were recommending. It wasn't just, Hey, don't do the things that are counter productive or are not having an intended effect. You are also saying, this is the vulnerable population. We're not doing near enough of what needs to be done to prevent these people from dying. And we're going to get to that, but talking about some of those inconsistent, um, voices, Anthony Fowchee was remains the most highly publicized, uh, face of the national COVID policy. Um, and yet his, his recommendations have been, you know, all over the place. A lot of us are very curious, scratching our heads. Um, how, how did he get into this role and how reliant was president Trump on, on his guidance and how did that impact the administration's effectiveness overall in handling the pandemic response? Speaker 1 00:09:12 Well, the task force, uh, you know, again, I didn't get there till say August, but the task force was put in place, uh, you know, uh, January, February timeframe. And it was, uh, originally run by secretary ASR, uh, of HHS. And there were several people on the task force and then the task force, um, morphed a month or so later. Uh, but Dr. Fowchee and several others were on that task force from the beginning. And then they had, uh, Dr. Berg's and put the task force under the control of vice-president pants. Uh, so this all happened in say February and the February timeframe, uh, by the, uh, we all saw, we all watched the same things on the TV and press conferences before I got there. Uh, which was that, uh, there were Dr. Fowchee and Dr. Birx with the president on the, at the podium. Speaker 1 00:10:07 And there was a lot of, uh, shall we say, uh, this, this, uh, disconnect between them. It was obvious, there were, there were statements made and undermining things that the president said, and the president was saying various things. And even when they were, uh, potentially really incorrect, the, the others just stood by rather than stepped up and said, well, no, you don't drink disinfectant. They didn't want to do that. They were sitting there. So, um, months went by through the spring. And I think the president from the beginning, uh, knew that the lockdown was a disaster, uh, and he was right, would be a disaster. And he spoke against that extended lockdown, but meantime, uh, Dr. Birx who was the head of the task force, uh, was really, or she was the coordinator of that task force. The task force was run by vice-president Pence, but, um, Dr. Speaker 1 00:11:09 Birx, uh, and the task force changed the policy. As everyone knows from two weeks to slow the spreads. For one reason, that was to stop hospitals from being overcrowded and that morphed into stopping COVID-19 and stopping all cases and stopping all cases at all costs, no matter what it took. And that was a huge error, but the disconnect came between the president's saying, we, we shouldn't do the lockdown. We're going to destroy people. And the task force doctors saying, no, we need to keep doing the lockdown because the task force doctors were not concerned and never mentioned not even once, uh, the, of the policies of lockdowns. And so, uh, there was this false narrative set up in the media that somehow saying you were opposed to the lockdowns meant that you were choosing money or the economy over lives. And that that's a false dichotomy because in reality it's lives versus lives, uh, and the lockdowns, uh, and I can go through in detail what that entailed, but, um, people, when they lose everything, when there's a significant drop in economic, uh, you know, uh, production, when the GDP goes down, when people lose their jobs, and when you shut down the medical care for everything, except COVID-19 whether it was in, uh, both directly that was done because so-called non-essential medical care was, was sort of stopped, even though it was critical medical care, but it was also an injection of fear. Speaker 1 00:12:52 And the people, people were made afraid to go into hospitals. So there was a cessation of medical care, and that killed people, you know, 650,000 Americans have cancer on chemotherapy. Half of them didn't come in for their chemo. 40% of stroke patients didn't call an ambulance half of heart attack. Patients didn't come in to seek emergency care. Uh, so all of those things happened. Meantime, cancer biopsies were not done cancer. Two thirds of cancer screenings were not done. Uh, the cancers didn't go away. The cancers are going to present clinically in a more advanced stage. Uh, you know, 85% of organ transplants live donor organ transplants were not performed. They still need the organ transplant. Uh, and that does not even count the massive psychiatric problem that was inflicted, particularly on the younger generation, a heinous abuse of the public trust by so-called experts, uh, which is almost an explicable, what they did, but they, but they never, that was not a concern. Speaker 1 00:13:59 I was the only one talking about that. And so what we see from that, as you saw, uh, you know, the CDC released a paper, there's a bunch of statistics I can go through, but, you know, 25% of college age kids in the United States thought of killing themselves in June after the two months of lockdown, 300,000 cases of child abuse when unreported, because schools were closed just during the spring, because the schools are the number one agency where child abuse is noticed. You know, we have a tripling of self-harm visits by teenagers, to doctors during a lockdown that means putting out cigarettes on themselves or cutting their wrists, uh, on the basis of medical visits, you know, we have a doubling, a tripling of things like anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, drug has skyrocket, particularly among younger people have 52% of people ages 18 to 22 in the United States college aged people. Speaker 1 00:15:02 52% of them had an unwanted weight gain during the lockdown and that weight gain average 28 pounds. Wow, there's a recent study of this accelerated obesity, particularly in people between something like five and 13 years old, we have set up, we, the people who did the recommendation and implemented the lockdown, the people on the task force who recommended the lockdown and the governors and leaders in the government who implemented the lockdowns have killed people, destroyed people's lives. And they've set up a massive public health crisis now for the future. So, uh, the level of incompetence was not just incompetence inside the task force. It was, uh, just so misguided the evidence at the expense of the health and lives of the American people. Speaker 0 00:16:03 To what extent is it just incompetence or myopia or, or panic? I mean, you know, there, there are some who think that there were certain political, uh, motivations at, at filet. Speaker 1 00:16:22 Yeah. You know, that's, it's hard to say. Um, it's not hard to say if you just want to guess it's it's, it seems sort of evident, but, uh, you know, I hate to ascribe that as a motivation because frankly, I saw a tremendous amount of incompetence. People want, don't want to believe how much incompetence there was. There was massive incompetence. I think there are other things happening. There's a tremendous amount of ego involved. Now, this is just my hypothesis. But you know, when you, um, when you are all in, on a national stage and you're wrong, it takes a certain kind of person to say, Hey, they were wrong. And we see it today because the lockdowns were proven to have been wrong. They were harmful. They did not protect the elderly. And when we look at the literature and you, you could look at the literature, there's a couple of great studies that came out one from Stanford university in January by Ben, David, and colleagues that showed that the lockdowns did not stop the cases. Speaker 1 00:17:30 Uh, and in fact, according to Johnny and eighties, his quote after the study was published, was the lockdowns in most cases were pro contagion. When you look at a study first author auger, while of USC in June, they showed that not only the lockdowns not stop the deaths, the lockdowns were associated with increase death. The lockdowns were put on in the deaths were already going down. And then when the lockdowns were put in the L the lockdowns caused more death. And so, uh, there's a, there was a complete lack of admission and there still is today. And we could see it in all the things we could talk about the vaccines and everything. There's a total denial of fact going on in this country. And that's what happened during the lockdowns. And these people are all in. And you'll notice that when you talk, and when you read these, these sort of vituperative comments and ad hominem attacks from my own university, uh, about me, but also from other places in the journals, major journals published these, these opinion pieces, those pieces were filled with criticism, but no data, there was no day that criticism. Speaker 1 00:18:52 And in fact, every single thing I said about natural immunity about the, uh, who's at risk about the lack of risk for kids about why schools should be open about mass and the effect on the somebody else. Every single thing I said has been proven to be correct. And you know why? Because it was correct when I sat it or I wouldn't have said it. And so, uh, the ad hominem personal attack has replaced scientific debate. So there there's some, I don't want to get ahead of myself in the interview, but there's some very big issues here facing the country and the world. And, uh, they are that there is a complete and deserved lack of trust. Now in experts, the people who are public health, the people in science, science itself has been seriously damaged because of these things that were published in the journals like Lancet and JAMA and British medical journal. Speaker 1 00:19:47 And, uh, the things that were said, the things that are still being said, there's a denial of fact, a failure to admit that these people were wrong and we're seeing doubling down on things. And, you know, the lockdown now has been replaced sort of, nah, not really. I mean, I've asked people in Australia, but the vaccine passports as sort of another, uh, very contentious area where, you know, mandating things that may or may not be beneficial. I mean, I just think we're, we're living, you know, Martin Cole Dorf is a very, uh, is an outstanding epidemiologist at Harvard who I've, I've worked with, uh, for a while. And he's a good friend of mine now. And he wrote, uh, recently, uh, back several months back, he wrote the age of enlightenment is over. Uh, and that's a very shocking, but very insightful statement. Speaker 0 00:20:43 Um, fast forwarding to this past year with the, with the focus on the new Delta variant, if we could get into some of the science of this, what are some of the biggest misunderstandings about the Delta variant? Um, and what does the emergence of, of new viral mutations? Does it change the fundamentals in terms of, uh, public policy response to infectious disease? Speaker 1 00:21:10 Well, I mean, the first thing you have to realize is that it's hard to explain why decades, in fact, more than thousands of years, actually, of natural immunity, knowledge and experience have been ignored as if we don't know anything about, uh, you know, about immune protection after infection, but let's talk a little bit about the general concept first and then the Delta variant. But the general concept is that people get, uh, protect the way viruses, survive and proliferate. Once people get enough protection against them, because there are mutations going on all the time is that the mutants are the ones that survive. And because they somewhat or partially, or wholly evade, the blockage of spread that people have from either in a, you know, I vaccine or natural immunity. And so this is the way that viruses evolve. This is expected. It would be a shock if it didn't occur. Speaker 1 00:22:10 And what happens when viruses evolve, they evolve from this pandemic stage into an endemic stage where they're a sort of a background of oscillating peaks and troughs with lower lethality. That's typically the expected pattern and that is seemingly happening. Now we see mutants that Delta strain is even more contagious. It seems from most of the data that you look at, but it's less lethal. Why do I say it's less lethal because less people are dying quantitatively versus the surge in the cases. Now that's for two reasons. One is that the, the lethality, the mutant is, seems to be lower. And secondly, more of the people are protected that might thigh from the vaccines, but the Delta variant to be specific seems to be protected by the vaccine. Uh, it spreads rapidly, but is less lethal. And there's no reason to sort of panic. It's always inappropriate for a public health person or a leader to panic, no matter what is happening, but there's no reason for people to panic. Speaker 1 00:23:24 This is expected. And this is one of the big flaws. And the narrative by the most visible faces of public health was that the American people were always viewing everything as this is a shock. This is a shock that, that a child could die. Well, no, it's not a shock. Uh, they died from the fluid at a higher rate than they die from this it's a tragedy, but that doesn't mean that you know, that we have certain things in medicine that we understand. And if people would have been told what to expect, that would have helped tremendously in allaying, some of the fear. So the, the Delta variant in the, in this brings us sort of it's spread it. It comes and goes. It's dominating basically everywhere in the world. Except the last I looked Brazil, I think is one of the few countries that is not dominated by the Delta variant, but that's neither here nor there for, for this discussion. Speaker 1 00:24:19 And, um, you know, the places this variant like the rest of this pattern that we've seen, it is a seasonal geographic spread. What do we mean by that? It just like last summer, you may remember Florida, Texas, the south got a big wave. And then it came down this before vaccines and then the upper Midwest and the Rocky mountain states and the sort of great lakes to the east area got hit with more cases that was their wave. This is the same thing happening now, Florida. Their peak of cases was about August 13th, 14th, they're way beyond their peak. The cases are way down. The spread is way less than the entire south. When you look at the map. So it came up it now it came down just like the cyclical behavior that we see with this virus. We are able to learn as we proceed here. Speaker 1 00:25:14 And so now we're seeing the, again, the upper Midwest, the lake great lakes area, they Rocky Mount, some of the Rocky mountain states have have more of these cases. So, uh, you know, it has a characteristic temporal time course, of course, over time of cases peaking and coming down. And, you know, we do our best. And I think this country has done great at getting the high risk people protected with the vaccines because 93%, roughly of people over 65 have been vaccinated with at least one dose, which essentially they all get the second dose. Uh, you know, but places like Florida, they didn't get cases because people didn't vaccinate. They got cases because it was spreading their Florida hadn't well over at Florida vaccinations exceed the country's average in every age group, including the high risk people. 95% of people in Florida over 65 had been vaccinated. Uh, but you know, there's a lot of people, 5% of a large population is a certain number. And since there are, you know, high risk people are the ones to die from the Delta variant. Not anybody else. There's no special risk factor profile for the Delta variant, by the way, there's nothing different here. It's still the high risk people that are going to die or that have a risk to die. Didn't say that. Speaker 0 00:26:32 No, I did not know that that, that Florida's, uh, vaccination rates were, were higher than the national average in every age group, something you might've Speaker 1 00:26:42 Missed data, that CDC Speaker 0 00:26:44 Data. Um, so speaking of vaccinations, you, you know, you were a part of an administration that helped to develop these vaccinations in record time. Are, are they working as well as, uh, was hoped for, or anticipated any surprises there? Speaker 1 00:27:03 Yeah, so, so this is a very important question because there's been a, there's been a false narrative that has been very harmful, that the vaccines are highly successful at stopping people from dying and from getting a serious or critical illness. They're very successful that protection from the day that I've seen so far has not waned. Okay. You have, they're very good. Over 90% protective, what? And so that people should be very feel reassured about the vaccines. Are, are they work at the most important function to stop people from dying now that, uh, sort of there's other ways to look at the vaccines and one is, do they stop infections? And it turns out from the data, it looks like the vaccine protection against re-infection or not reinfected, but infection wanes dramatically after say four to six, four to eight months from the data all over the world. Speaker 1 00:28:10 That means that you can get infected and people have virus. They can spread virus if you've been vaccinated. So that, uh, has somehow taken hold of the narrative. And somehow meaning to many people, the vaccines are failures. No, they're not failures. The vaccine stop you from dying. And they're very good at that. Uh, so yes, you can get reinfected. There's a difference. It depends what, you know, it depends what the goal is. We are not, we have, the vaccine is not a sterilizing vaccine. The vaccine does not eliminate everything in your nasal pharynx. Okay? That's not the purpose of the vaccine. The purpose of a vaccine is to stop serious illness and death. The purpose of vaccine is not necessarily to prevent everybody from getting, uh, a mild infection or everybody from getting a positive PCR test or everybody from having the lay in bed for a day or two with a fever. Speaker 1 00:29:09 That's not the purpose of a vaccine. That's not the most important part of a vaccine. So that immunity, that protection has waned over a period of say four to eight months significantly. That's what's, what's, what's being shown, but not the protection against death. So this has created a backlash against vaccines against the vaccine. Uh, people are saying, oh, it doesn't work. No, it does work. It's very important that people who have a high risk to die take the vaccine. It's a different story. If you're, uh, you know, if you're not, if you don't have a significant risk to have a serious illness or death, that's a different sort of calculus. That's a different equation. That's a different decision process. And if you should take the vaccine and this of course feeds into the need that the discussion about boosters and vaccinating children and all these things, because when people have a low risk for an illness, I don't understand the case for giving them a vaccine. Speaker 1 00:30:09 Uh, if the vaccine, particularly when the vaccines have side effects and we're learning more and more about the side effects, we have no long-term safety data on this type of vaccine. There's never been an MRI, a vaccine use. We have no long-term data because obviously you've only had it for a number of months. Um, and we certainly don't have any data, any safety data whatsoever on a booster. I mean that if anybody says the boosters are safe, because Israel gave boosters to, uh, you know, a couple thousand people and they had no significant side effects in 30 days, okay. That that's not good enough. That's not safety data. Uh, so I mean, I think there's been a, again, a, a strange ignoring of the scientific process that most medical scientists would abide by. Uh, there's been a bizarre, almost hysteria by people when we know that most people do not have a high risk from this virus, uh, yet, you know, rational thoughts seems to disappear. Speaker 0 00:31:20 You talked before a bit about, uh, natural immunity and how strangely absent it's been in the overall discussion about COVID. Where do you think we are now as a nation? I've seen estimates, um, as, as possibly as high as half of the population, having natural immunity, how does that compare to, uh, vaccine enhanced protection? And what, what is the argument for somebody who already has had and recovered from, um, COVID what, what extra benefit do they get from getting the vaccine? Speaker 1 00:32:03 So I'll start by saying, I've read the same estimates and the estimates are roughly, you know, 150 million Americans have had the infection. I, I, that's an estimate that I've read. Uh, now what is natural? Natural immunity, uh, is proven in this virus. First of all, it's not new information. This is standard, uh, immunology. And, uh, there are several things that people should understand about it. Number one, the data shows that you're more likely to get an infection after the vaccine. Then if you are recovered from the virus and not vaccinated, now, what I mean by that is the people who've never had the infection who get vaccinated. They have a 13 to 27 times higher rate of infection. People who have never had the infection and get vaccinated much higher rate of infection than people have had the infection and never been vaccinated. That's point number one, that's protective against infection. Speaker 1 00:33:11 It's protective against symptomatic infection to have had the vaccine not to have had the infection it's protective against re-infection more than a vaccinated person has protection. Who's never had the infection against infection against symptomatic infection and, uh, against hospitalization, you have more durable longer by the way, protection better protection. If you've recovered from the virus and not been vaccinated, then the people who've never had the infection and been vaccinated. That's factually true. It's inarguable. And anybody who says opposite is either lying or doesn't understand or doesn't know the signs. Um, and famous people say the opposite. That's why I'm saying it so strongly. Uh, now what is the data on giving a booster or, or the vaccine to people who've had the infection? Okay. There's a, there's a, an observational study is, uh, in Kentucky, uh, that showed that they had a number of people who've been infected all of them. Speaker 1 00:34:22 They took some of them who came in voluntarily, I think for a PCR test and other, uh, who and of those, some had been vaccinated after their infection and others had not. And they had a higher rate of positive PCR test on the people who have not been vaccinated. All the people had the infection in the past, some were vaccinated. Some weren't, there was a higher positive test by PCR that doesn't, there was no data in the study on if the people got sick, no data on illness that I saw no data on hospitalization, no data on death. And we know that depending on how you do a PCR test and the way that the PCR tests had been done in this country, while over 95% of the PCR tests are not showing people who have had active, who have active infection. So, I mean, it's almost a, it's a, it's a, it's a meaningless study when you compare it to the real studies, which are in the UK and Israel in Qatar, and they, and they show that there's a very robust in FA uh, protection of, uh, by people who have had the virus. Speaker 1 00:35:31 Now, it's also proven by laboratory that once you get SARS to you get the anticipated immune protection, that is called memory immunity or long-term immunity. And this was something that I was criticized for talking about. It's almost comical, uh, back in the, in the white house, uh, because I've mentioned that we do not determine protection simply by a serum antibody level, because everybody who's ever had college level immunology or medical school level immunology first year knows that after an infection, your serum antibodies go away, but that does not necessarily mean your protection goes away because you end up getting this long-term immunity, uh, that involves things called B-cells and T-cells. But in any event, even with antibodies, not measurable, you still could have significant protection from the infection. This is known, this is not novel information. This is not a postulate or a hypothesis. It's proven, it's known, it's been known for decades. And again, we have a government here and we have public health officials who simply are denying science. They're denying the fact that people have excellent protection. If they've recovered from the virus. Speaker 0 00:36:58 I wanted to circle back to talking about the targeted protection that, uh, that you had recommended. Uh, it wasn't, as I mentioned, just about letting non-high risk people go about their lives. Um, it was about more intense protection for people in nursing homes, higher priority protection for the elderly. Could you elaborate, uh, what, what did we do? What did we not do? What, what does, uh, targeted protection look like and what might it look like hopefully sometime in the future in some country possibly named America? Speaker 1 00:37:37 Well, okay. So historically what happened was, uh, I think Johnny <inaudible> was probably the first person who wrote a piece back in late February, early March on, on this idea that we know who's at risk. We should do everything we can to protect them. Uh, and people that low-risk did not need to be locked down. And I, I said the same thing and, and, uh, repeatedly since March of 2020, and then, uh, also others did including, uh, Martin colder from however, Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford, the Sinatra group of Oxford and several other people yet targeted production was not implemented to the first point to make is that if you think that the wrong policies were done, uh, and if locked down advocates keep saying lives, could've been saved, their policy was implemented. The people wanted the lockdowns, the lockdowns were implemented. It is irrational and bizarre that somebody who advocated lockdowns blames critics of lockdowns for the failure of the lockdowns that were truly implemented because they were implemented. Speaker 1 00:38:47 Now, having said that, what do we mean by targeted protection? Well, I mean, there are many things that could have been done and should have been done in addition to letting healthy people live. Uh, but, um, targeted protection meant that we could have increased the protection of the nursing homes. For instance, in the, uh, when I got to DC, the nursing homes were, the order was let's test the staff once a week. All the cases were being brought in from the staff into a nursing home. You know, nursing home patients make up anywhere from 30 to 50% of, of deaths. And, you know, even places like Sweden who were more rational, 70% of deaths in Stockholm at one point were in the nursing homes. They did a very poor job of protecting the vulnerable. And the vulnerable were known to be the older people that are frail and nursing on this, by the way, that's true for almost every infection, including cold, common colds, and regular flu causes, massive deaths in nursing homes. Speaker 1 00:39:45 We knew this, but this was not new to be discovered in any event. There were testing staff people once a week. And I said, well, that that's, that's ridiculous. The tech staff people need to be tested three times a week, five times a week, every single day, they're bringing in the cases. Okay. Uh, so what we eventually did, uh, and I, wasn't the only one who did this seem of Irma of, of Medicare. She, she did a great job of, of understanding that we need to increase the protection. So we did more testing, far more, uh, personal protective equipment, uh, instant, uh, instant, 15 minute, you know, quick result tests in all the nursing homes. Um, we set up, uh, infection alliances with hospitals for helping infection control in nursing homes. So they don't know how to do that. Like a hospital does, there were CDC strike team set up, uh, I advocated and we got massive tests sent to senior centers. Speaker 1 00:40:42 It's not just the nursing home seniors, it's the non-residential seniors that weren't protected also. So they frequent the senior centers for their activities. Uh, we got massive numbers of, of, uh, state of the AR testing sent to their more personal protective equipment. Uh, I was advocating to get the people that live independently, who are on Medicare and high risk, and we knew who they were. Uh, I wanted those people to get notified when their community's spread was high, so that they could be, be very careful and avoid any group setting and, you know, be very careful there. So there were a lot of things that could have been done, some were done. And actually, if you look at the data, the survival rate for older people, uh, in nursing homes came down by 50% by the time the end of November came, which is when I left and I'm not taking credit for all of that. I'm just saying that more things were done to protect them, and they should have been done from day one. And they were not Speaker 0 00:41:45 Very, very interesting. And of course it just should have been the standard policy across the United States to make sure that the, the elderly got the first round of vaccines. Speaker 1 00:41:56 And this was not the policy recommended by the CDC, again, the CDC and many public health leaders who are deemed expert by society or by their title or by their credential. We now know that the credential is not, is not the necessary ingredient here. It takes a critical thinker, uh, and, and most people have that kind of common sense, but the CDC came out and said, the first level should be the first responder types. And, uh, just as one example, governor DeSantis said, no, the first people getting our vaccines are going to be the old people because they could die. I mean, this, you don't have to be a genius to figure out this. This is, this is very simple logic that was ignored and is still being ignored repeatedly all over the country. Speaker 0 00:42:42 We have a ton of questions and we have about 17 more minutes, um, before we let you go. And we're again, very grateful. So I'm going to try to race through a few of these. Uh, we have a couple of questions from professor Richard Salzman. He's a senior scholar at the Atlas society asking, uh, if you're aware of, were you encouraged by the great Barrington declaration that was, um, issued by the American Institute for economic research? It got widespread media coverage, but seems to have had a little positive. Speaker 1 00:43:21 So, I mean, you know, I, uh, yeah, that, that great Barrington declaration was composed in October. And, uh, I was, uh, I am very close, uh, with the three people who wrote that, uh, we had been talking for months, uh, and I actually, they, uh, they came to, uh, at my doing, uh, to be meeting with secretary Hazor and in Washington DC, uh, that weekend. Um, and so I'm encouraged. Well, they, they are, they're also very courageous people, these three, uh, epidemiologists and medical scientists, natural goop to Merton called orphan Jay Bhattacharya. They're also very close friends of mine now. And, um, you know, I had been speaking to people like that, them and, uh, Johnny and Eddie's and others almost every single day for months since, since March of 2020. Uh, and then we were all on the same page with, with that targeted protection. Speaker 1 00:44:23 So I'm, I think it's, it's, uh, it's positive that there were hundreds of thousands people have co-signed that including, you know, uh, I forget the number 15,000, uh, medical scientists and practitioners. And yes, there's a lot of people who see that targeted protection, uh, and ending a super destructive lockdown that was failing was the way to go the logical way to go the ethical way to go. The, the, uh, the medically indicated way to go. And, um, it's very good that people, uh, that, that was written that people, uh, took it seriously. It gave more people courage to come out. You have to realize the climate, uh, still is like this. But, um, I had hundreds of medical scientists over the world, email me during this whole process saying, Scott keeps saying what you're saying, keep going. You're exactly right, but we cannot step forward. Speaker 1 00:45:23 We're afraid. We're afraid for our jobs. We're afraid for our families. So, you know, people like me, you know, uh, I mean, I got death threats, many, uh, it's a it's insane. The country is really, there's a lot of vicious, sick people. I hate to say it that way, but there are, there, there are, uh, but it was, uh, fostered by the, uh, really hyper partisan reaction of politicized academics at universities who couldn't argue on the merit of the arguments. So they just went ballistic and issued character smears, and that's very harmful to the public. Good. So the great Barrington declaration and targeted protection is correct. It's proven correct. And it will, they will never admit they, the other side will never admit they were wrong and they are, by the way, I, I, I w I wouldn't have time, but, uh, you know, uh, the data shows that the targeted protection was better. Speaker 1 00:46:21 The lockdowns were worse. So we can look at states like Florida, where governor DeSantis, we have an internal control. That's Florida versus California, very similar states, similar in their heterogeneity of ethnicity and their rural versus urban and their climate in their size, except for one California did persistent draconian lockdowns, and governor demands has opened. Everything, never did a full lockdown. And he opened everything in August, including all the children were in in-person schools, if they want it to be since last September. And we see the data, Florida did better than California, better in age adjusted mortality from COVID, uh, in excess mortality, meaning the total number of deaths during the pandemic over baseline, better than California, Florida did better than two thirds of states and excess mortality, Florida did better than 40% beat the national average by 40%. And why is it important? Because it's the burden of the states that did the lockdowns to do better because they destroyed people with the lockdowns. Speaker 1 00:47:26 So what did they get for a Florida doesn't have to do better. They just have to do average. It turned out the Florida ranked number one, the best state for age adjusted mortality of all the 10 large states. After the first year of the pandemic, that's through the spring, they ranked number, they had the best, the lowest age adjusted mortality. They don't have to do better to be proven, right. They just had to do reasonably close, but they actually did better. So the, the gross error of doing a lockdown, it killed so many people. And we still don't talk about it. We still talk about somehow this bizarre notion that children have high risks, they do not have high risks. They have extremely low risk and to close schools, is, is frankly a sin to distract, to, uh, destroy the children for doing that. Uh, yet we don't talk about the harms of closing the schools. I mean, I'm not sure if you've ever seen the most visible face of public health on TV. Talk about the harms of the policy. Speaker 0 00:48:27 Um, Kevin Michael Callahan on YouTube asks a direct question. Um, since four to eight months was mentioned, he's asking, maybe asking for a friend, maybe asking for himself if an individual tested positive. Okay. In December of 2020. So last December, what would be the suggested actions in your opinion? So I think what you were saying was the four to eight month protection was for the vaccine, not for, yeah. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:49:05 Okay. So it's the vaccines that protect long-term so far against death and hospitalization. They do very well at that, but the vaccines do not protect against an infection law that seems like beyond, say four to eight months with, with high frequency. They they're better than not having the vaccine. I'm not saying that, but they're the immunity wanes. And in some studies it's been shown to wane down to nearly zero protection against an infection. That's the vaccine. If you've had an infection, you have long-term protection so far, that's what the data shows much better than the people who have never had an infection, but then vaccinated. Speaker 0 00:49:51 This is a question from mark Shoup. It's about testing. Uh, what do you think of the Trump administration policy on testing? Was there enough testing under the Trump administration? Was there too much testing? Speaker 1 00:50:06 Yes. Before I came, this is back in early days of like February, March, uh, 2020, the testing was sort of a debacle. Okay. I wasn't there. I remember. So I had no insight or personal conversation about it, but from what I saw and read, uh, the CDC, uh, messed up quite a bit with the testing. And so there wasn't enough testing and that's a shame because the testing was important in the beginning, far more important than the beginning. What the Trump administration did succeed in doing was develop a massive testing apparatus and stated their testing with rapid, you know, uh, and you know, not a two to three day turnaround, but a 15, 20 minute answer, uh, and also antigen testing in concert with of course, private sector. So they ended up developing a massive testing apparatus and the problem with the testing. And I talk quite a bit about this in the book is that testing is a strategic tool. Speaker 1 00:51:06 Once you have tens of millions or a hundred million people with an infection, that's not the time that any, any credible, uh, you know, epidemiologist or infectious disease person thinks that you start implementing detailed contact rates. So you can't, that doesn't work. It's impossible. And we've seen that, that these, these efforts are overrun. So, but testing is very strategic, uh, because, uh, certain people need to be tested. If you're going into a high risk environment, you need to be tested. If there are people that are not protected from the, from dying. And so that's an example of a strategic tool would be massive frequent testing in a nursing home setting or in a senior center setting. I mean, that, that kind of strategic use of testing. So instead of, it's not true that everyone needs a test constantly, that frenzy is just not the way to think about things. The way to think about things as how do you use that massive testing apparatus to save lives. And so what we did, one of the things that I advocated for, and that was done those, we sent the extra tests to high risk environments, as I mentioned, including historically black colleges and universities. Why, because the faculty members are higher risks there. So that's a high risk setting, but all generally universities and schools are low risk settings, but if you have a certain kind of setting, that's high risk, okay. Testing is very important than those. Speaker 0 00:52:34 All right, well, in the maybe seven minutes that, that we have remaining, there's a bunch of different questions from different platforms. Um, but a few that could be grouped, uh, under similar headings, a lot of people asking about masks, uh, they, they say that there was different guidance given early on. Uh, I've seen interviews with Dr. Fowchee just really pooling masks and saying, oh, you know, don't be paranoid. And then it was due to masks. So just help, help us clear the confusion on masks. Do they help? And then also some questions on, on Sweden, what are the takeaways that was considered a cautionary tale, but perhaps we know now more than more time has passed. Speaker 1 00:53:20 Very good questions. Um, I'll try to not go on and on. Uh, so the time that I know you've got also other engagements, Dr. Fowchee had it right in the beginning and the email trove that was uncovered when he explained why mass surgical mass, the kind you would buy would not work because the virus is smaller than the 120 nanometers pore size. And the mass, the virus spreads by in your breath hits. It's, uh, it's not, uh, it's not only being spread at all by like large droplets doctors where mass, because when we do procedures, we don't want our spit, our coughing going into a, uh, a, uh, a clean, sterile incision. We don't want to have blood spray in our face. You're talking about bodily fluids. That's not the way the virus spreads the way the virus breads is aerosolized. It goes around the mask. Speaker 1 00:54:20 If you've ever worn sunglasses or glasses with a mask, your, your, your glasses fog up, okay, what's the data on the mask. There's three sets of data on the mass. The first study is the, a large randomized trial in Denmark, more than 6,000 adults. They had people, the groups of people that wore mass versus the people that didn't wore masks. They were all tested for the virus. There was no significant difference in the people that wore masks versus the people that didn't wear mass, as far as getting the infection. Okay. Mass do not protect. I'm talking about widespread population mass do not protect the mass squares. That's the Denmark study conclusion. We looked at all the data in every country. Every state, when the mass mandates were done, the cases exploded through the mass mandates. You may say, well, maybe they weren't wearing masks. No, you look at the percent of people wearing masks. Speaker 1 00:55:21 It was 80, 90% during the entire summer. And the cases exploded through the mass mandates and through the mass usage and the university of Louisville study. I think it was written in February or March, uh, was published. And it shows on an analysis that mass did not mass mandates did not stop. The spread mass usage did not stop the spread of the infection cases. Now, the third type of study was this Bangladesh study recently, it was very different. It was, they told two sets of villages, one set of villages where mass, the other side of villages, they didn't talk. They didn't tell them to wear a mask. And, uh, then they checked the number of symptomatic people that lived in those villages. They didn't test them for the virus. They tested them for antibody. We don't know if any of them converted to antibody by the way, during the study, but that's, besides the point, let's take it at face value people. Speaker 1 00:56:20 Did you, or did you not develop symptomatic? COVID these were people, whether or not they were a mess. There's nothing to do with who was wearing a mask, the villages, they were living in a village where some people were mass versus living in a village where less people were mass. And when I say some people, even the villages that were instructed less than half the people were the mass. Okay. And so their result is that the symptomatic cases were lower in villages, where people were told to wear mass by 11%. And the only people that had less symptomatic, fewer symptomatic cases where people 50 to 60 people, 40 to 50, they didn't have any fewer people there. So that's a, that's a red flag. Why, why, what does that mean to me? They lived in the same village. This is not that people were wearing mass that were T you know, it was the only a certain age group and only a partial protection. Speaker 1 00:57:15 And so to me, it means it's more, to me, it's more likely we don't know what the people that were older were doing. Maybe they weren't going into the large group settings. I don't know. But in any event we see that's confirmatory that study confirms that mass are not very effective at protecting from COVID there's no, I don't know why people were celebrating that. Like, there's some kind of a big, uh, finding there. It doesn't show that at all. And so the bottom line is that large-scale widespread population mass do not protect the mass wares, and they do not stop the spread of cases by testing. And they do not effectively stop the spread of COVID except in a certain age group. And so that's the data. Okay. That's not an opinion, that's the data, uh, you know, nobody has to argue with me about it, but they will. Speaker 1 00:58:06 Um, and so, you know, that, that's the question, uh, now that's different from saying, if you're symptomatic, should you be wearing a mask? If you're, if I'm coughing, I don't want people to have me cough. If you think someone's going to cough in your face, then it might be worth having a mascot. Or, and that means symptomatic COVID. Or if you have taken care of somebody, who's very high risk and you have COVID, they should stay out of your room, but, you know, they should wear a mask where wear it because you don't want large droplet, but in terms of the, uh, contamination, the aerosolized spread in the general population use, that was the data. What I showed you. And by the way, the Denmark study tested for virus for 12 different viruses. Does it protect mass squares? And it does not. It doesn't didn't stop any of the 12, not influenza, none of them zero. Speaker 0 00:58:58 Well, with that, that brings us up to the top of the hour. We'll maybe, uh, see if we can entice you to come back and join us for a clubhouse chat. That that might be nice. Um, but we really are so grateful. We are very much looking forward to the release of your book. I have already pre-ordered mine. Um, I want to encourage those of you who are joining us for this live broadcast to also go out there. And pre-order a copy of a plague upon our house, my fight at the Trump white house to stop COVID from destroying America. A fight that I know is ongoing for you, Dr. Atlas, thank you very much. Thank you for having me and thanks to the rest of you for joining us. Um, I want to again, have a special thanks for our sponsor today. Russell Hassan, uh, check out his Amazon page. Speaker 0 00:59:57 The guy is prolific and, uh, and very provocative. So, uh, give it a look on, want to also encourage all of you who are watching us to come back next week. I'm going to be inter interviewing Dr. Wolford Riley, uh, about his book, hate crimed hoax. And I also want to remind all of you. We're six weeks out to the gala coming up in Malibu on November 4th, we're going to be honoring Peter teal with special remarks from Palmer lucky and the big, big news. Uh, we're going to have a live performance of <inaudible> the Anthem of the Cuban uprising against the dictatorial Cuban regime. We have flying them in from Latin America. So I hope you will join us and we'll see you next week. Thanks everyone.

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