In his latest effort to "make the coronavirus go away", Donald Trump is now listening to a new pandemic advisor who believes the government should just let the virus spread so survivors will become immune and all will be well.
Apparently tired to the truth-telling Dr. Anthony Fauci, who constantly counsels that masks should be worn and social distancing should be practiced, this new guy, Scott Atlas, now apparently has Trump's ear as he encourages the president to embrace a "herd immunity" strategy similar to one being practiced by Sweden, which has one of the highest infection and death rates in the world.
Trump is desperate to turn the struggling economy around as the November 3 election nears, and clearly loosening virus-related restrictions is key to that. But at what cost? Apparently, he doesn't care, as long as his numbers go up as voters, with a false sense of security, return to the fold.
However, that strategy hasn't worked out so well in Sweden, where economic problems have not been avoided by its relatively lax approach to the pandemic.
Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist who has been the face of the federal response to the pandemic, has been marginalized by Trump, as has Dr. Deborah Birx, his coronavirus response coordinator, who said earlier this month that she has "tremendous respect" for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
That apparently sent Trump around the bend.
"In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us," Trump tweeted.
Who is this guy, Scott Atlas?
A neuroradiologist at Stanford's Hoover Institution, Atlas joined the White House earlier in August as a pandemic advisor. The Washington Post quotes administration officials as saying he has advocated an approach similar to Sweden's, which relies on lifting restrictions on healthy individuals so they can build up immunity to the disease instead of limiting social and business interactions to prevent the virus from spreading.
Well, doesn't that mean that those healthy individuals would be allowed to catch Covid 19 so they can build up that immunity? Is there any other way to become immune except to catch the virus? How many of those people will die before they become immune? As of today, Covid 19 has claimed 183,000 lives in the U.S.
Here's how The Post put it today:
Atlas, who does not have a background in infectious diseases or epidemiology, has expanded his influence inside the White House by advocating policies that appeal to Trump’s desire to move past the pandemic and get the economy going, distressing health officials on the White House coronavirus task force and throughout the administration who worry that their advice is being followed less and less.
So the bottom line is this. Trump is willing to sacrifice even more Americans to the coronavirus pandemic so the economy will get going and his election chances will improve. Nothing else matters to this president.