Atlas, a health policy fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and a former White House adviser on the Coronavirus Task Force during the Trump administration, told The Epoch Times’ Joshua Philipp on Wednesday that the coronavirus response has been “the biggest public health fiasco in modern history, and it’s continuing.”
Reacting to reports of new mask mandates and renewed urgency about coronavirus variants, Atlas said the hype is “shocking, but I don’t think we should be shocked anymore at what’s happening because we’ve seen this for three years now.”
He said the emergence of new variants is to be expected, and that mutations will leave new variants less and less lethal than their original strains.
“There is no significant, real, dangerous pandemic going on,” he said. “That’s just false.”
Atlas explained emphatically that the coronavirus masks frequently promoted and even mandated to ostensibly stop or slow the spread of the virus “don’t work, period. That’s proven.”
“There is no debate about that for anyone who cares about scientific evidence and data,” he said. “To say that masks work is like saying the earth is flat.”
Atlas said that research going back to May 2020 has consistently found that “there is no evidence that masks reduce the infection, spread, or protect the wearer,” and that the oft-touted “N-95 masks are no different from surgical masks in that respect.”
He said unequivocally that “lockdowns don’t work” and were “extraordinarily harmful,” and that masks are similarly ineffective and potentially harmful.
“Even without the harms, they just don’t work,” he explained.
The former White House coronavirus task force member also expressed concern that Americans are not operating based upon objective reality and condemned the “obsession about testing for a virus that is endemic.”
“We need people that are ethical and have courage to step up and speak out, because the people in power are either incompetent or they’re lying,” Atlas said.
Responding to criticisms of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in its earliest days in 2020, Atlas said that the procedure for managing a pandemic “was not learned” over the past three years but had been “known” for some “15 years before this pandemic,” including the fact that lockdowns were harmful and ineffective.
“During 2020, somehow the country lost its rational leadership and data was denied,” he said. Though he said it was difficult to speculate about the reasons things went “off the rails,” he suggested the COVID response may have been “political in the beginning,” and that the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s use of taxpayer dollars to back coronavirus research in China could also have played a key role.
He also contended that citizens need to sift through the available information on their own and make well-reasoned decisions.
“We need to have enough people understand and think for themselves,” he said. “Critical thinking is necessary on an individual basis here.”
He said more ethicists, teachers, parents, and others should have stepped up to resist mandated masking and experimental jabs.
“When you speak out, when you do what’s right, you’re empowering other people,” he said, arguing that “some of the most heinous things in history have occurred because people [stayed] silent and they went along, and people died.”
“You cannot sit and do nothing and expect somebody else to do it for you,” Atlas said.