Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire, and written by Daily Wire News.
President Donald Trump announced during a press briefing on Tuesday that Scott Atlas, M.D., was working with the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Atlas later appeared on Fox News's "Tucker Carlson Tonight," where he sounded off on the media and those setting public policy on how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is Scott Atlas,"
in announcing that Atlas was working with the White House. "Scott is a very famous man who's also very highly respected — Stanford. And he's working with us and will be working with us on the coronavirus. And he has many great ideas. And he thinks what we've done is really good, and now we'll take it to a new level. And so it's great to have Scott working along with us."
Atlas, who is the Robert Wesson Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, addressed a variety of issues during his appearance on Fox News, including masks, fear generated by the media and policymakers, and what he says is inappropriate policy.
"The reality is there is certain data that is very controversial about masks and I think the president said it correctly, honestly, when he said that in certain settings it's reasonable to wear a mask when you cannot social distance and particularly if you're trying to protect and at proximity to a high-risk individual or you are a high-risk individual,"
"And I think that's a rational policy. I don't want to make fun of people who say these other things, though. And the reality is it's stemming from a massive amount of fear, bordering on hysteria now and this is a real problem because public policy is supposed to be taken into consideration, not just stopping COVID-19 at all costs, but understanding the impact of people on what you do and what you say. And I think that's been a failure in some of the people who've been speaking out on this."
"Well, fear has its political uses,"
host Tucker Carlson said. "That may explain it in part, but fear also has medical consequences, does it not? It's not good for people to be terrified, filled with anxiety, is it?"
"Well, that's absolutely true and it also, again, we need to live in a rational world,"
Atlas said. "We need to show our children we use critical thinking. There's been a lot of sloppy thinking as I've said many times with people with very fancy CVs on this stuff. But the reality is there are reasons to wear a mask. But generally speaking, driving around in your car alone and some of the other scenarios you outlined it's not really rational to wear a mask."
When asked about people who, for example, go outside and are exercising with no one around while wearing masks, Atlas said that "there's no real good science on general population, widespread in all circumstances wearing masks."
"That really has been sort of failure of communication by people who are supposed to know better,"
Atlas said. "When you look at an article that's published, you're not supposed to take the bottom line. You're actually supposed to look at it critically as a medical scientist and try to understand if you can actually draw the legitimate conclusion that the authors themselves are drawing. Much of the stuff on masks really is not very good science at all and in fact the W.H.O. itself says there is no sound science for general populations wearing masks."
"However, in certain settings, I think we can say it's reasonable to wear a mask,"
he continued. "The whole public policy honestly is twofold here: The public policy is directly for stopping deaths by protecting the high-risk people and preventing hospital overcrowding while you safely reopen society. The public policy is absolutely not just stop COVID-19 cases at all costs, no matter what. That is not appropriate policy."
Atlas later added that the media has "really highlighted and sensationalized things way out of proportion."
"But really it's up to people who are legitimate credible medical scientists to step up and articulate the logic and common sense policy because you can't just say it's all about the science and then say things that are contrary to the science,"
Atlas said in his final remarks during the interview.