Coronavirus Newsbites

Trump adds coronavirus adviser who echoes his unscientific claims
Dr. Scott Atlas, a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution who frequently appears on Fox News and has advised Republicans in the past. And crucially, unlike the government's medical experts who have advised Trump until now, has adopted a public stance on the virus much closer to Trump's -- including decrying the idea that schools cannot reopen this fall as "hysteria" and pushing for the resumption of college sports.

... Atlas has been an extensive critic of severe lockdowns and publicly agreed with the President on all of those above measures. He joins Trump's team at a time when he finds himself increasingly at odds with the other medical experts in his administration, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx.

... But it was the message Trump sent by bringing Atlas to two coronavirus briefings this week that resonated the most with the rest of the task force. When the President initially revived his daily briefings, he told aides he did not want the experts who had at times contradicted him to join him any longer. Instead, he claimed, he would relay the administration's message that day by himself. (Birx sat to the side during one briefing.)

This week Atlas has already attended two briefings, though he hasn't been given a speaking role.

Meet Trump's new coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas, a Stanford physician who frequently criticized lockdown measures and believes in the full reopening of schools
  • President Donald Trump announced the hiring of Dr. Scott Atlas as a coronavirus adviser on Monday.
  • Atlas is a healthcare policy expert who works at the Hoover Institute, a conservative think tank at Stanford University. He is not an infectious-diseases expert.
  • He has been a frequent guest on Fox News in recent months, where he frequently spoke out against lockdown measures and for the full reopening of schools in the fall.
  • Atlas' appointment comes as Trump appears to be tiring of Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, two experts who have been on the White House coronavirus task force for months.

Trump says the administration will provide up to 125 million masks to school districts
The announcement comes amid a push by the Trump administration to reopen schools around the country.

New White House recommendations encourage mask use in schools, but don't require it
The White House released eight new recommendations for US schools as they prepare to reopen -- but the recommendations are little more than basic hygiene tips and don’t outline what to do if they face coronavirus cases in their halls.

... The President said one of the reasons he wants students to return to school is because there are very few fatalities in younger Americans.

Florida sheriff bans his deputies and office visitors from wearing masks on a day his county broke records for Covid-19 deaths
A mandate from a local sheriff in Florida is going against the recommendations from scientists and government officials: masks will not be worn.

"Now, that ordinance exempts government entities and leaves the decision to the figure heads," Woods explained in the email, obtained by CNN. "So, as for us, my order will stand as is when you are on-duty/working as my employee and representing my Office -- masks will not be worn."

Woods then listed out a few exceptions when masks need to be worn: at the courthouse, schools, hospitals and while on patrol and responding to a nursing home or involving a "High Risk Elderly individual," he said in the email.

And the order doesn't just extend to those on the payroll -- anyone walking into a sheriff's office, either the main office or a district one, will be asked to remove their mask, Woods wrote. If they don't, they will be asked to leave.

... Nationally, police officers have been seen not wearing masks, listing a myriad of reasons as to why -- though health officials including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise the face coverings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The CDC issues a dire warning for the fall if coronavirus measures are not followed
"For your country right now and for the war that we're in against Covid, I'm asking you to do four simple things: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and be smart about crowds," said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I'm not asking some of America to do it," he told WebMD. "We all gotta do it."

Without following the recommendations, this could be "the worst fall, from a public health perspective, we've ever had," he said. In addition to taking measures to combat the pandemic, people should also get a flu vaccine.

"By getting vaccinated, you can protect your children," he said. "When we look at the mortality that we see with flu, one thing is for certain. The kids that get vaccinated, they basically get protected against death." The CDC has bought 10 million doses of the flu vaccine for uninsured adults this year, compared to the typical 500,000 doses.

US government slow to act as anti-vaxxers spread lies on social media about coronavirus vaccine
While anti-vaxxers flood social media with lies about the upcoming coronavirus vaccine -- that it contains monkey brains, that it's a CIA plot to take over the world -- the government's multi-billion-dollar vaccine effort has yet to come up with a public education campaign to counteract that propaganda.

...Those lies include social media memes stating the vaccine will leave an invisible digital, trackable tattoo; that Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leader in the vaccine effort, is actually Satan; and that the vaccine will hideously disfigure your face.