‘Huge disconnect here in what the goal of public policy is’
When the lockdowns were implemented last spring in response to the coronavirus pandemic, officials emphasized the objective was to “flatten the curve,” meaning to stretch out the number of cases over time to avoid overwhelming hospitals.
Somehow, the objective has shifted to eliminating cases, which Dr. Scott Atlas of Stanford’s Hoover Institution always has believed was the wrong approach.
Protecting the higher-risk populations and allowing the virus to burn out, or attenuate, through infecting people who are at low-risk of serious illness should be the aim, he said in a Fox News interview with Sandra Smith, who was guest-hosting “The Story.”
“I think there is a huge disconnect here in what the goal of public policy is here,” said Atlas, a senior fellow in scientific philosophy and public policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
“The goal of stopping COVID-19 cases is not the appropriate goal. The goal is simply twofold, to protect the people who are going to have a serious problem or die, that’s the high-risk population, and to stop hospital overcrowding.”
Atlas argued against focusing on testing college students, for example, when the aim should be “to protect the high-risk group from getting infected.”
He said there “should never be and there is no goal to stop college students from getting an infection they have no problem with.”
He pointed out that 99.8% of deaths from COVID-19 are in people over 24.
“They can do things if they are still afraid from a distance but you don’t lock down healthy people,” he said. “It’s just irrational, really.”
Smith asked whether or not students who are asymptomatic would pose a risk to vulnerable people with whom they come in contact.