Top Trump Advisor Lies That Children Are At ‘Virtually Zero Risk’

Trump’s new top coronavirus advisor, who Trump appointed after watching him on Fox News despite his having no background in epidemiology or infectious diseases, has been pushing dangerous lies that schools are “low-risk” environments and children are at virtually zero risk of death from the coronavirus.

Trump’s new top coronavirus advisor said this week that there is “virtually zero risk” of death for children.

ATLAS: “You have to look at data and understand schools are a low-risk environment. Children are a very low-risk population. There is virtually zero risk of death and low risk of hospitalization. … less than seasonal influenza.”

As the Trump administration downplays the risks, cases, hospitalizations and deaths in children have increased at a faster rate than among the general public.

New York Times: “As some schools begin in-person classes, data compiled by the American Academy of Pediatrics from the summer show that cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus have increased at a faster rate in children and teenagers than among the general public.”

Schools aren’t “low-risk” for staff who are at higher risk for severe complications — and kids can carry infections home from school to family members, leading to more spread among the general population.

Scientific American: “Children also might pass the coronavirus to adults, who tend to have much more severe symptoms. Teachers, janitors, bus drivers and others must all spend significant amounts of time with students in enclosed spaces, where they are at a relatively high risk of contracting COVID-19 from children (as well as each other).”

Scientific American: “Students physically attending school could carry at least some infections home to family members—who could face far worse health threats and spread the virus more effectively among the general population. This may have contributed to a second wave of coronavirus cases in Israel; in May the country’s numbers were encouragingly low, so schools reopened with few restrictions. But then the number of infections in children quickly spiked, followed by those among older Israelis.”

Atlas’s unscientific views are so dangerous that even Fox News, which got him his job as Trump’s advisor, is concerned about booking him.

The Daily Beast: “Though Atlas is ascendant in Trumpworld, his views are considered scientifically unsound—if not dangerous, according to some critics—enough that he’s become increasingly unwelcome on various shows at the very network that helped get him his influential new job. According to three people familiar with the situation, Fox News producers have been instructed to take extra care when inviting Atlas onto the network to discuss the pandemic, which is rapidly approaching a U.S. body count of 200,000. Some Fox staffers involved in the network’s more straightlaced daytime news programs have been increasingly reluctant to book him altogether.”