Meet the anti-lockdown doctor that conservative pundits are flocking to - 2020-11-19
Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, who teaches medicine at Stanford University and is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economics Research, has become popular in conservative circles for challenging the extent of the coronavirus' deadliness and the need for widespread lockdowns. Yet the advice issued in his popular articles are far outside the scientific mainstream from accepted public health policy, and scientists say that they may even be "dangerous."
There was his interview last month with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, where he described a lockdown in Victoria and Melbourne, Australia as "nothing short of draconian." In April he told a different Fox News host, Tucker Carlson, that the actual death rate from coronavirus infections is "likely orders of magnitude lower than the initial estimates," adding that "per case, I don't think it's as deadly as people thought" and that "the World Health Organization put an estimate out that was, I think, initially 3.4 percent. It's very unlikely it is anywhere near that. It's it's much likely, much closer to the death rate that you see from the flu per case."
Bhattacharya has also appeared on Spectator TV — an outlet considered the voice of the UK's Conservative Party — saying, "What we need are new ideas for containing the damage of the virus, rather than trying to contain the general spread, which has been proved to be a poor strategy." Carly Ortiz-Lytle, a writer for the right-leaning DC Examiner, tweeted this last week about one of his interviews: "Whether you disagree or agree with lockdowns, this is worth a watch. Dr Jay Bhattacharya explains creative alternatives to lockdown."