Dr. Atlas: New coronavirus cases should not be the focus — it should be hospitalizations, deaths – Fox News

Former Stanford University Medical Center Chief of Neuroradiology Dr. Scott Atlas said Monday that there is too strong a focus on one aspect of coronavirus statistics at the present time, and not enough on another.

Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, said on “The Story” that there’s been a heavy focus on an uptick in cases, especially in places where governors either have reinstated or have further enforced restrictions.

“When we see this focus on more cases, it doesn’t really matter how many cases — it only matters who gets the cases. We know that the infection-fatality rate for people under 70 is 0.04 percent — that’s less than or equal to the seasonal flu,” he said.

“The cases themselves should not be and were never the focus. It’s only the tragic consequences of the cases. When we look at the cases in every state, the overwhelming majority are younger and healthier people.”

He said in the newer hotspots of Florida and Texas, the median age of those infected has varied from under 30 to about 40 — and those flareups mean little, so long as those hardier folks recover as they would from any other virus or disease.

Atlas said what matters is the rate at which high-risk people are being affected — and whether the capacity for treatment still exists and whether the death rate from the virus is going up.

He said that instead of bad news on that front, despite the uptick in infections in various states, the death rate from coronavirus is actually decreasing.


“I realize we have to wait to see the story play out here, but right now, the cases are going up for three weeks and we have no increase, in fact, we have a decrease in death rates. It doesn’t matter if you get the illness if you’re going to fully recover and be fine from it — That’s what people must understand. For younger healthier people, there’s not a high risk from this disease at all.”

In Texas, the government has ordered bars and other establishments to close again, among other mitigation orders.

Fox News’ Trace Gallagher contributed to this report.

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