Rise in coronavirus hospitalizations among young people is a good thing because it leads to herd immunity over the long term, Stanford’s Dr. Scott Atlas says
Over the past one week, the airwaves have been saturated with news of second wave of coronavirus. Over the weekend, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the largest single-day increase of coronavirus cases around the world since the virus emerged in Wuhan, China more than six months ago. WHO said more than 183,000 new cases were reported on Sunday. The U.S. tallied 36,617 new cases.
Over the past two weeks, 22 other states have had recent growth in newly reported coronavirus cases and hospitalizations over the last 14 days, in part because some have recently ramped up their testing capacity, according to New York Times. In Texas, for example, the state health officials say rates of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise among young people.
However, Dr. Scott Atlas, former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, said that is actually a good thing. In his appearance on Monday night’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum,” Dr. Atlas said that since everyone who gets hospitalized for any reason is getting tested for COVID-19, the people making up the inflated statistics could actually be “hospitalized for something else” but “classified as COVID-19 hospitalizations.” Dr. Atlas also used the interview to lash out at medical journals. “Medical journals like Lancet are publishing garbage studies on coronavirus,” Dr. Atlas says.
When asked by the host MacCallum about what he thinks that 25% of the cases are being hospitalized are people 20-29 and if they seem unusual, Dr. Atlas answered:
“No, I think that’s counter to any other data point we have. We have a state that has detailed evidence, Florida. We see that although there is a huge rise in cases, they are almost all overwhelmingly healthy young people. They are not being hospitalized. They are not dying. The deaths are going down per day. The hospitalizations are going down per day. It’s just not likely.”
“What is your thought on that, do you think that 25% of the cases are being hospitalized are people 20-29, does that seem unusual?” MacCallum asked.
“I think that what is happening in Texas, I know that this is true, they are testing every person that gets hospitalized for Covid-19,” Atlas continued. “We know that the vast majority of people with COVID-19 who are young, particularly, are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic. I question if those people who are positive for COVID-19 and being hospitalized for something else are classified as COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s a big difference.”
Atlas went on to explain that younger people getting the infection is actually a good thing because it leads to herd immunity over the long term.
“That’s because we have learned to protect the older people and we are now dealing with infections in people who have essentially no problem with the infection,” he said. “This is proven all over the world, not just in the U.S., every country in the world shows us. It’s not arguable, really. And so when we look at that, we see a lot of people who have no problem getting the infection, that’s exactly how a population develops immunity.”
You can watch the video of the entire interview below.
Dr. Scott Atlas on COVID-19 spike among young people https://t.co/EB4izPx5x5
— thetechstartups (@thetechstartups) June 23, 2020