Atlas, a neuroradiologist and not a specialist in infectious diseases, supported the decision to review federal guidelines in August, and did not focus on the need to test people without symptoms, according to two sources familiar with the procedure. He shared his views with state officials, including Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and several others in Florida, according to transcripts of public events and reports of private meetings in that state.
The purpose of these trials is to prevent people from dying, Atlas said on a filmed station. If you start closing schools because people have asymptomatic positive tests, that is not the purpose of these tests.
I think we all agree, Dr. Atlas, that strategies at school should focus on people with symptoms, DeSantis said at another joint press conference that day. Control.
Their desire to make testing less important coincided with a sharp decline in testing throughout Florida, despite the country’s preparations for the coronavirus outbreak in the fall. An analysis of CNN’s official figures in Florida, summarized by the Covid Tracking project, shows that tests were conducted in late July and early August, with a seven-day peak of more than 90,000 tests per day on average on the 18th day of the month. July. Six weeks later, in early September, the seven-day average of less than 48,000 tests per day was nearly halved and fluctuated between these levels and 60,000 in the autumn.
If the defense of Atlas and DeSantis in Florida is indeed responsible for reducing the number of tests in the state, this would be in line with the wishes of Trump, who falsely assumed for several months that there were so many cases of coronavirus in the United States just because he did so many tests. In June, Mr Trump even publicly stated that he would like to delay the test.
Although both Atlas and DeSantis refused to discuss their views on the story with CNN, they made them public. Some state and local government officials believe that they influenced the approval of Trump’s anti-test statements and helped translate them into government policy. And the participation in the tests is very disturbing for some people. This is due to the fact that the positive employment rate in the region has remained high, which, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, indicates a high prevalence of the disease in the population.
Symptomatic Kovid-19 carriers are still contagious according to experts. The lack of commonly used tests makes it difficult to detect the spread of the disease and prevent people at risk from contracting it.
There is no doubt that more people will die, said Mayor Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, who criticized DeSantis’ approach to testing and other issues related to the pandemic response at the governor level. We fly blind and untested.
The nation is currently experiencing a further increase in the disease. The number of daily cases has reached an invisible level since the end of July and Florida is also beginning to develop. According to experts, extensive testing, even on asymptomatic carriers, is essential to contain the spread of the virus.
A White House official said Atlas has never advocated fewer tests, despite public statements to the contrary from a doctor. The White House test consultant explained that Atlas has never advocated less testing.
Atlas and the president focus on the judicious use of a mass testing program to save lives and protect vulnerable people in at-risk environments, Judd Deere sent an e-mail to CNN. The administration’s testing strategy and Dr. Atlas’ recommendations are rooted in the fundamental goal of saving lives and helping schools, businesses, churches and other institutions discover, reopen and remain open.
The DeSantis spokesman said he acted as he saw fit.
We’re not walking with anyone, said Fred Piccolo, the governor’s liaison director. We respect Dr. Atlas. But we have no orders from the White House.
Atlas: From Fox Commentator to Trump’s Trusted Consultant
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After a few weeks of consultation with the White House, Atlas resigned in 10th place. August officially joins the Trump Administration at the request of the President. Trump saw Atlas in an interview with Fox News, in which he expressed his scepticism about the scientific consensus on Covid-19.
In particular, Atlas stated that the number of cases in the United States was not important. His thoughts were intertwined with Trump’s, and when the president announced his appointment, he promised to take it to the next level by proposing that Atlas help the administration deal with the pandemic.
Atlas quickly assumed the role of public health advisor to Dr. Trump and replaced key members of the Coronavirus Working Group, including Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birks. The president has hardly ever asked doctors what they can do to keep their lawyers at the forefront of the bill, the White House told CNN in an interview, relying on Atlas.
I certainly don’t have as many ears as Scott Atlas now, Fauci said Friday about Trump on MSNBC. The situation is changing.
John Cochrane, a researcher at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, where Atlas is a senior fellow, defended his colleague’s desire to resist consensus.
Healthy government policies must balance the spread of the disease with the enormous economic [and] social costs, said economist Cochrane. I believe that a deep understanding underlies many of his specific recommendations.
One of Atlas’ first steps as a member of the Task Force was to work on the revision of the PCC guidelines to reduce the emphasis on the need for asymptomatic testing, according to two sources familiar with the process.
The review was later withdrawn due to objections from CDC scientists, but the short guidelines showed the influence of the atlas and helped spread the idea even in Florida.
DeSantis shares some strengths regarding the pandemic.
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Meanwhile, DeSantis concentrated on similar things.
After Trump called for the reopening of schools across the country in July, the governor became a strong advocate for bringing schools in Florida back to normal. DeSantis supported an urgent instruction issued by its education commissioner in July that public schools should prepare to open five days a week for full-time instruction, and compared schools with the opening of retail stores such as Walmart and the Home Depot.
He also criticized some state universities for what he described as draconian punishments for students who violated the Covida 19 protocols.
It is therefore remarkable that during the first week Atlas joined DeSantis in Florida with the flagship of Florida State University. Since the 31st. On August 8, the couple travelled all over the state to spread their common ideas about the importance of school renewal, focusing on protecting the elderly rather than screening for asymptomatic people.
As Republican governor of a critical state, DeSantis represented the reopening of Florida at the end of September as a model for the president, who believes that life should quickly return to normal.
The goal of all this is to save lives, Atlas said, summarizing his views at a press conference with DeSantis on the same day, rather than documenting asymptomatic low-risk people.
I’ve been talking to the government for a while. DeSantis on the pandemic, and he really is an example of how we can do something with exactly the thoughtful approach we need in this case, Atlas said at a joint press conference in Tampa later in the day. So we can do something to help us fight the pandemic, Atlas said the same day.
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During this joint trip, DeSantis and Atlas held several press conferences and met in private with experts and public health officials to share their common views. At a private meeting on the 31st. August DeSantis and Atlas told health officials present in the room not to test students without symptoms, one of the officials present said.
It was very clear that the governor fully believed in the idea and that we were essentially being punished, the official said about his personal impression of the meeting.
The general tone, the man said, was similar to the way DeSantis went to Cape Canaveral and gave a lecture on rocketry. So, let me tell you how it works, the source said. First there is the rocket fire, then the rocket explodes, then the rocket reaches the blue sky, then it reaches the black sky, then it is in space.
Assistant DeSantis said that the governor’s sole focus is to protect the weak and stimulate the economy.
He sees the blockade as a wrong and counterproductive strategy to defeat the coronavirus, said Piccolo’s spokesman. Control.
Vaccination of herds
The idea that asymptomatic people should not be tested is very controversial among infectious disease specialists.
There’s no way to hide a pandemic without testing, said Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, senior scientist at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Health Security. Even if we don’t count people with mild or absent symptoms, they have them, and they are always contagious to others, and they will eventually appear.
On the other hand, supporters of herd immunity theory are less interested in universal testing. The White House and the Atlas praised the work of a group of infectious disease experts who, in a statement entitled Great Barrington Declaration, called for an open economy and allowed rampant infection to create widespread immunity.
In September, DeSantis participated in a virtual public conference with two of the main authors of the declaration, according to numerous local press releases. The next day he suddenly announced the complete reopening of the state, without restrictions for companies and schools and without hidden safeguards. One of the mayors stated that he had not been informed in advance and had not been invited to a public hearing.
Everyone was surprised, said Gelber, the mayor of Miami Beach. There was no warning.