Bill Gates said the Trump administration appointed Dr Scott Atlas as the new coronavirus adviser because he ‘agrees’ with the White House’s ‘crackpot theories.’
In an interview with STAT News, the co-founder of Microsoft, whose foundation has committed $350 million for COVID-19 initiatives, criticized the federal government’s response to the pandemic.
This includes the hire of Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s conservative Hoover Institution.
Atlas has advocated for herd immunity, believes Americans should be exposed to the coronavirus as children and has questioned the effectiveness of masks.
‘The administration’s now hired this Stanford guy who has no background at all just because he agrees with their crackpot theories,’ Gates said.
Bill Gates criticized the hiring of Dr Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist who does not have any background in epidemiology or infectious diseases, as the Trump administration’s new coronavirus adviser. Pictured: Gates during the funding conference of Global Fund to Fight AIDS in Lyon, France, October 2019
Gates says Atlas, who has advocated for herd immunity and has questioned the effectiveness of masks, was only hired because he ‘agrees’ with the White House’s ‘crackpot theories.’ Pictured: Atlas gestures during a news conference at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute, August 2020
On August 12, Atlas was introduced as the newest member of the White House coronavirus task force.
The news shocked many public health experts because Atlas is a neuroradiologist with no background in epidemiology or infectious diseases.
He was even dubbed by some as the ‘anti-Dr Fauci’ – a reference to Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert – within the White House, reported The Washington Post.
Atlas has reportedly advocated for herd immunity, a theory of allowing large numbers of people to get infected so the country as a whole can become immune.
However, this would allow the virus to spread unchecked and lead to the deaths of thousands of people in the process.
He also said it is ‘a good thing’ and ‘not a problem’ for younger Americans and children to be exposed tot the virus because they are ‘zero risk.’
Additionally, Atlas supported the recent decision of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to suddenly amend its testing recommendations
Previously, health officials had urged anyone exposed to a confirmed patient to be tested for the virus
Now, CDC recommendations say those exposed with no symptoms ‘do not necessarily need a test’ unless they are ‘vulnerable individuals’
Public health experts admonished the agency, arguing more tests are needed, not fewer, and that it is well-known the virus can be spread by asymptomatic people.
‘You know, this has been a mismanaged situation every step of the way,’ Gates told STAT News.
‘It’s shocking. It’s unbelievable – the fact that we would be among the worst in the world.’
Gates also criticized US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn after he misrepresented findings from a Mayo Clinic study that led to the agency approving convalescent plasma under emergency use authorization.
Hahn noted that the study found a 35 percent decrease in mortality among patients younger than age 80 who received plasma.
But the findings actually show 8.7 percent of patients treated with plasma within three days of diagnosis died after seven days, compared to 11.9 percent who were treated four days or more.
That’s an absolute difference of 3.2 percent, not 35 percent, and not compared to a control group.
‘This is third grade math. I mean, are you kidding?’ Gates said.
‘The head of the FDA got up and said it was a 35 percent death reduction where it’s not even a three percent reduction based on just a tiny little subset that was non-statistical. This is unheard of.’
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