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Expert in infectious diseases: Scott Atlas’ herd claims are “pseudoscience”

Michael Osterholm, a well-known infectious disease expert, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that a “herd immunity” theory was reportedly called by one of President Trump’s favorite coronavirus advisers. is the most amazing combination of pixie dust and pseudoscience I have ever seen. “

Context: Senior administration officials, who spoke anonymously to reporters last week on a White House scheduled call, said they allowed “those with little risk of death to live their lives normally. to develop virus safety through natural infection “is” the most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd safety, “the New York Times and Washington Post.

  • Achieving herd safety ̵
    1; which prevents widespread outbreaks because enough people in a community are immune to a disease – without an effective vaccine will result in widespread fatalities.

Driving news: Scott Atlas, a radiologist who clashed with other members of the coronavirus task force in his controversial view, reportedly rejected a proposed increase in coronavirus testing by an economist at New York University in September by referring to a theory that only 25% or 20% of people need the infection for the rest of the population to be protected, according to the New York Times.

What they are saying: “First of all, that 20% figure is the most amazing combination of pixie dust and pseudoscience I have ever seen,” Osterholm said in response to Atlas’ alleged comments. “50% –70% is the minimum.”

  • “And remember when we talk about getting 50% –70% protection, we’re talking about you being able to get there – but if that happens, a lot of deaths, a lot of serious illness – or we can try to go there at the vaccination, and postpone the number of people getting sick until we have vaccines available. ”
  • “5o% –70% only slows down the delivery, it does not prevent it. So this virus will continue to look for wood that will burn as much as possible … so, our goal is to protect as many people as possible. there are vaccines, “he said.

Including sides: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday that herd safety was not the Trump administration’s policy to deal with the pandemic, adding, “It is a desire through vaccination to get to safety in the herd, but it may be a result of all those steps, but the goal is to reduce cases. “

  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters last month that “immunity has not been the strategy” for the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus, after the president claimed the coronavirus would disappear when people develop “a flock of minds.”

The big picture: Osterholm warns that the US is likely to “blow up” its peak in July with infections, with case counts “greater” than 75,000 per day as the country’s barrels toward a “very dark collapse. “

Go deeper: Twitter deletes a tweet from Scott Atlas saying the masks are not working

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