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Supposed science lovers attack science they don’t like

Victor Davis Hanson of National Review Online probes “unscientific” attacks on Dr. Scott Atlas.

The news media until recently had rarely criticized the medical advice of experts — especially those who worked for federal bureaucracies, international organizations, or elite universities.

Yet the much-praised Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, has demonstrably weakened the effort to fight COVID-19.

During the critical initial weeks of the virus’s spread, Tedros parroted Chinese propaganda. He falsely assured a complacent world that the virus was probably not transmissible between humans and did not warrant travel bans. The fact that Tedros was the first WHO director not to have a medical degree was seldom cited by the media. …

… The esteemed Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has given conflicting advice on the use of masks, quarantining, and the methods of viral transmission. Yet such inconsistency is either ignored or chalked up by the media to the usual learning curve of dealing with a new epidemic.

So why — other than politics — is there now a concerted media attack on Dr. Scott Atlas, an adviser to the Trump administration on COVID-19 policy?

Atlas has had a distinguished career as one of world’s top neuroradiologists. He has become a national expert on public-health policy, especially in the cost-benefit analysis of government programs.

After COVID-19 arrived in the U.S., Atlas consistently warned that government must follow science, not politics, in doing the least amount of harm to its people. He has reminded us that those under 65 rarely die from COVID-19, and that those infected who are younger than 20 usually do not show any serious symptoms.

Accordingly, Atlas has urged the states to focus more resources on the most vulnerable — those over 65, who account for the vast majority of COVID-19 deaths — and allow younger Americans to reenter schools and the workforce with appropriate caution.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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