Fox News host Steve Hilton once more ripped coronavirus lockdowns and Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden’s call for 100 days of masking as he defended now-former Trump administration COVID adviser Dr. Scott Atlas.
Hilton began a segment by noting that Atlas, who left his position this week, was, for years, “a senior member” on the medical staff at Stanford University, where Hilton himself said he used to teach after first coming to the United States.
He then noted that last month the university’s faculty senate ripped Atlas over his positions regarding COVID-19 policies that include masking requirements and lockdowns, claiming that they “contradict medical science” and that he was “misrepresenting knowledge and opinion” regarding the pandemic. In addition, the body claimed Atlas violated the university’s “core values and high ethical standards.”
“‘High ethical standards?’” Hilton said. “Interesting.”
The host went on to point out that early in the pandemic, three Stanford physicians — Drs. John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist, Jay Bhattacharya, and Eran Bendavid “published a study that completely upended what we thought we knew about the virus.”
The researchers tested antibodies in Santa Clara County, Calif. — home to Stanford University — and discovered that COVID-19 was actually “much more infectious” but far less deadly than what Americans were being told. In short, the findings contradicted widespread lockdowns and masking strategies.
“The right policy would be to protect the vulnerable while letting everyone else get on with their lives,” Hilton said, summarizing the researchers’ recommendations.
But after the study was released, the head of Stanford medicine, Dr. Lloyd Minor “tried to silence” his colleagues’ “groundbreaking work” rather than support them, Hilton said.
“Using the pretext of a manufactured whistleblower complaint, he ordered an investigation,” Hilton continued. “For six months, the doctors were threatened with retribution, hounded by Stanford lawyers, prevented from speaking out, even subjected to smear campaigns in the press.”
However, the host noted further, their research “has since been confirmed by multiple studies,” including one by the Centers for Disease Control.
“The doctors were completely exonerated,” Hilton said, adding that Bhattacharya went on to found an organization that argues for virus policies aimed largely at protecting vulnerable people.
“Everything the Stanford doctors said in April was true,” Hilton continued. “Dr. Scott Atlas shared their analysis and was a vocal advocate of the focused protection approach.”
Hilton went on to rhetorically ask why Stanford attacked its own researchers and tried to smear Atlas.
“Because of this person — Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County health officer,” he said, adding that she was the first local health official to order broad lockdowns, which eventually spread throughout California and the rest of the country and have since become the go-to policy when cases spike.
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He then played an April clip of MSNBC host Rachel Maddow interviewing Cody and noting that she didn’t know “that stay-at-home orders were within the public health toolkit.”
Maddow then asked Cody how she and other county health officials “know to think of these things as options?”
Ending the clip there, Hilton went on to explain that following the 9/11 attacks, Cody and others had devised such plans but in response to a potential bio-weapons attack or a theoretical virus pandemic, but “not on the data or the science of this pandemic.”
Hilton then referenced recently-published reports citing CDC studies indicating the coronavirus was circulating in the U.S. in mid-December — weeks, if not months, earlier than first believed.
He also said U.S. health officials including lead immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci were saying in January Americans shouldn’t be concerned about COVID-19.
“The virus was here three months before Sara Cody’s lockdown. It was never gonna contain it,” Hilton insisted, noting further that she was still pushing for “full containment” measures in June.
Circling back to the Stanford-Atlas connection, Hilton pointed out that Cody is married to a professor of medicine at the university.
“So they closed ranks to protect their own,” the host speculated.
“The lockdown groupthink spread from Stanford to the medical establishment to the media to the bureaucrats and the Democrats,” said Hilton. “They accused anyone against lockdown of wanting people to die; but of course, people died despite the lockdown, and thousands more died because of the lockdown.”
“Yet, here we are again about to repeat them. None of it’s based on science or data,” Hilton continued, blasting the hypocrisy of allowing some retailers to stay open while ordering others to close.
“Look at Biden with his pathetic statement about masking in his first 100 days. It is pure BS,” he said, adding that lockdowns are the biggest “public policy mistake” ever “and we have to fight them.”
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