Shrug

Another day, another Trumplander threatening to sue his critics for mean words that gave him hurt feefees. They're all such whiny, bloody snowflakes!

Today's sniveling little snotnose is Dr. Scott Atlas, the neuroradiologist who earned himself a spot on the president's coronavirus task force through frequent appearances on Fox News where he praised the president's handling of the virus and criticized lockdowns.

Atlas's colleagues at Stanford University, where he is a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution, were not impressed. And upwards of 70 of them expressed their disapprobation in an open letter on September 9.

"As infectious diseases physicians and researchers, microbiologists and immunologists, epidemiologists and health policy leaders," they wrote, "we stand united in efforts to develop and promote science-based solutions that advance human health and prevent suffering from the coronavirus pandemic." Which is just MEAN and NO FAIR because Dr. Atlas is literally none of those kinds of -ist. He's a radiologist without any specialized understanding of viral transmission across wide populations.

They continued:


To prevent harm to the public's health, we also have both a moral and an ethical responsibility to call attention to the falsehoods and misrepresentations of science recently fostered by Dr. Scott Atlas, a former Stanford Medical School colleague and current senior fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. Many of his opinions and statements run counter to established science and, by doing so, undermine public-health authorities and the credible science that guides effective public health policy. The preponderance of data, accrued from around the world, currently supports each of the following statements.

And then they laid out a list of true facts about masks, and asymptomatic transmission, and herd immunity, and telling people the goddamn truth even if it's politically inconvenient.

Well! Scott Atlas isn't going to take that lying down, Mister Doctor! So he sent this cease and desist letter demanding a retraction of the letter which "maliciously defames" him, plus an apology.

Oh, and Atlas's colleagues need to "contact every media outlet worldwide that has reported on it to request an immediate correction of the record" and submit "satisfactory written proof" of having done so by close of business tomorrow.

Or else what? Or else Dr. Atlas and his esteemed attorneys "will take all necessary and appropriate measures to enforce our client's rights, seek compensatory and punitive damages for the harm you have caused, and vindicate his reputation in court."

aLl nEcEsSSarY AnD aPpRopRiAte mEaSuRes!!!!!1!!

Yeah, that's a serious demand letter. You bet! We'd expect nothing less from Trump's lawyer Marc Kasowitz.

Atlas attempts to summon his squad, insisting that "any disagreement you may have about testing is not with Dr. Atlas, but with the entire Coronavirus Task Force, which, as you also know, includes Dr. Fauci, Dr. Redfield, Dr. Birx, and Dr. Giroir, all of whom unanimously approved the testing guidelines before the CDC, under the direction of Dr. Redfield, issued them. [sic]"

Which is slicing the onion pretty, pretty thin.

It wasn't Dr. Fauci who told Tucker Carlson, "the reality is that there's certain data that's very controversial about masks."

Dr. Redfield never said "there is a minimal, if any, risk of children transmitting the disease, even to their parents."

Dr. Giroir wasn't out there telling people that asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 is actually "very rare."

Dr. Birx never preached a herd mentality, oops we mean herd immunity strategy. And Atlas can deny that he did, either, but there's tape of him telling Fox's Brian Kilmeade, "[Young] people getting the infection is not really a problem, and in fact, as we said months ago, when you isolate everyone, including all the healthy people, you're prolonging the problem because you're preventing population immunity. Low-risk groups getting the infection is not a problem." So, good luck with that one.

Michael Fischbach, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford who signed the original letter and posted Kasowitz's nastygram to Twitter, seems disinclined to accede to its demands.

"I stand by everything we said," he tweeted. "More facts, more science. Less Kasowitz."

Words to live by.

[WaPo / NYT]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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