Hoo boy

Everything Orange Caligula touches turns to crap in a short time. The Hoover Institution at Stanford is getting that treatment now, as Trump's quack virus advisor, Scott Atlas, has the university in quite an uproar. Atlas and Jay Bhattacharya, another Trump-friendly physician who's against mask wearing and in favor of letting most of the population contract Covid, are both "affiliated" with Stanford – Atlas through Hoover, which is part of the university, and Bhattacharya as a medicine professor.

Atlas is notorious to the public at this point, but the other guy is far less so. Here's how the Stanford student news service describes him:

Bhattacharya was one of three authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, which advocates for a “focused protection” approach that “allow[s] those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk.” 

In practice, this materializes in opening schools, restaurants and workplaces for young Americans while protecting older and more vulnerable populations, a strategy which Bhattacharya insists will build herd immunity and create a safer environment for at-risk groups. Atlas, a key White House coronavirus advisor, has praised the declaration. 

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, has rejected the declaration as “total nonsense.” And on Oct. 14, 80 experts published the John Snow Memorandum, which has now been signed by over 5,300 scientists, researchers and medical professionals. 

Referencing the justifications for a “herd immunity” approach detailed in the Great Barrington Declaration, the John Snow memo argues that allowing the virus to spread naturally through young people “risks significant morbidity and mortality across the whole population.” It also claims that there is “no evidence for lasting protective immunity” after COVID-19 infection, and that such a strategy as advocated by Bhattacharya and Atlas would lead to “recurrent epidemics.” 

Meanwhile, many of the faculty at the university are wondering why they're having to answer to their friends and colleagues about Atlas and some of the more unscrupulous hangers-on at Hoover. A letter to the student newspaper from a theater professor published yesterday said in part:

Provost [Persis] Drell’s answer gives an impression that the University’s leadership is using the dignity and accomplishments of Stanford faculty to conceal and protect the Hoover Institution fellows who are seriously damaging the reputation of our university. When I signed up to teach at Stanford, I was not told that part of my job would be to serve as a living shield for the Hoover Institution. I refuse to be used in that way. I am not them.

When the students return to campus, I suspect the front door of Hoover is going to be an interesting place for a long while. That outfit needs to be ejected unceremoniously from Stanford. That is what you deserve when you throw in with the hideous wretch currently in the White House. Dr. Herd Immunity should feel a bunch of heat, too.

Comments

  1. "Everything Orange Caligula touches turns to crap in a short time."
    Usually it's a few years until you get what I call the Atlantic City effect. Remember when Trump got his casinos going in Atlantic City? For awhile there he had his own commercial sized jet - hell he had a little airline to shuttle high rollers to the gaming tables. Of course he was running up astronomical debts - kind of like now - and for awhile there the numbers were impressive - kind of like the stock market recently. Then it all comes crashing down as it did in Atlantic City. We just spent 3 trillion we don't have and we did it in around half a year. But even without the pandemic Trump would have had zero financial responsibility and crashed the system anyways - not in a shot time but in a few years. He has no sense when it comes to debt - probably because he was born into wealth. I was talking to the great Phil Stanford as we tried to figure all this out and he nailed it. Trump's definition of success revolves around ostentatious displays of wealth. As Phil put it he's a "gold fixtures in the bathroom kind of guy." Bingo. If you want to try and psychoanalyze him I'd say he has a glaring need to show he's rich because he knows he's lacking as a person. There's another theory that I stumbled on recently that I can't shake: Sociopaths often try and take revenge on regular people because they've been rejected by them their whole lives. Don't be surprised if underneath this motivation to do right by the good old USA, there is a twisted desire to leave a crater when he's gone. And make no mistake: All the signs point to an economic crater ahead.

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