How hiring the incorrect medical “skilled” derailed US pandemic response

Image of a man speaking from behind a podium.

Enlarge / Scott Atlas, a White Home adviser, used his place to advocate for permitting the SARS-CoV-2 virus to unfold and tried to dam testing for it, which might additional that aim. (credit score: MANDEL NGAN / Getty Photos)

Whereas one congressional committee appears to be grabbing all of the headlines lately, different investigations of the Trump administration have continued within the background. Certainly one of them is attempting to find out how the US’s response to the coronavirus pandemic went so incorrect that the nation ended up with over one million deaths and one of many worst per-capita dying charges on the planet. In its personal phrases, the committee’s aim is “to make sure the American individuals obtain a full accounting of what went incorrect and to find out what corrective steps are essential to make sure our nation is best ready for any future public well being disaster.”

In its newest report, launched on Tuesday, the committee particulars the White Home profession of Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist with no infectious illness expertise. Atlas’ hiring by the White Home was anticipated to be so controversial that he was initially instructed to cover his workers ID from the precise authorities public well being specialists. But he shortly turned a driving drive for the adoption of insurance policies that might obtain herd immunity by permitting many of the US inhabitants to be contaminated—whilst different officers denied that this was the coverage.

How’d this man get right here?

Atlas’ lack of related experience raises questions as to why he was employed within the first place. The brand new report particulars that he wasn’t shy about voicing his opinions concerning the pandemic response, making a number of TV appearances to complain concerning the insurance policies advocated by precise public well being specialists. He additionally instantly reached out to a senior authorities official, calling the US’s response “a large overreaction” to a virus he estimated “would trigger about 10,000 deaths.”

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