Steve Hilton called on Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top U.S. health officials to provide some insight into many of the unanswered questions surrounding the federal government's public health strategy to contain the coronavirus, and questioned the latest decision to close U.S. schools and universities in an attempt to stop the spread of the outbreak.
"There is something missing in what we're told by our public health officials," Hilton said in his opening monologue of "The Next Revolution," Sunday.
"They have told us, 'most people are not at serious risk from coronavirus, and while anyone can get it and spread it so far, only a small number end up sick enough to be hospitalized.'"
" I am sure there is a good answer... but we have not heard it yet... and until we do, you will have millions of Americans not trusting what officials say."
Hilton noted that according to health officials, senior citizens and people with chronic underlying conditions were most vulnerable -- but children without compromised immune systems likely will feel mild symptoms, if any, and will make a full recovery.
"The question many are asking is... 'if kids don't get it -- if most people who get it are fine, why are we closing down America to fight it?"' Hilton asked.
The surge of cases throughout the United States and around the world has brought many countries to something approaching a standstill. While countries including Italy, Spain and China have declared complete lockdowns in efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, life in the United States also has dramatically changed in just a week.
From work to entertainment to even worship, several aspects of American life have been reordered as health officials encouraged the public to carry out "social distancing" to prevent the spread of the infection.
Major sporting events -- including the start of the Major League Baseball season, the end of the NBA's season and March Madness NCAA basketball tournaments -- have been postponed or outright canceled to prevent large crowds from gathering, Hilton noted.
"We have to reduce the number of hospitalizations at any one time, spread it out. In the jargon, 'flatten the curve,'" Hilton said.
The decision came amid a growing number of school closures in communities and entire states across the U.S. as well as mounting pressure from New Yorkers, City Council members and others.
"That is the stated reason for school closures and the NBA... all the rest, large gatherings spread the infections, and even if there are no vulnerable people there, healthy people can leave and infect someone who really is at risk who then might need hospital treatment," Hilton said.
He emphasized, "The idea behind closing schools is not to protect the kids who will likely be fine, but to protect the grandparents from the kids."
"But," he continued, "many hear this from the public health officials and they ask, 'does that really add up? You told me most people would be fine and kids don't get it. If you close school, won't kids be more likely to come in contact with grandparents, especially if a family cannot afford to arrange child care?'"
Appealing directly to Fauci, Hilton called on the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director to address the confusion surrounding school closures and the cancelation of public gatherings, suggesting instead a mass isolation for those most at risk.
"I have a plea, for Dr. Fauci and the others... you want all Americans to cooperate with your public health strategy. At the organizational level with the NBA and so on, that is happening -- but there are still millions of Americans who don't buy into what you are saying, and repeating it will not work," Hilton said.
"You need to answer the big question many Americans are asking. Instead of closing school, colleges, sports and other large gatherings for the general population, why don't we isolate the vulnerable population?"
"Instead, of draconian steps that will tank the economy for everyone, why don't we focus on those most at risk?" he reiterated.
" I am sure there is a good answer to that question but we have not heard it yet from Dr. Fauci or any of them... and until we do, you will have millions of Americans not trusting what the officials say," Hilton concluded.
"That is the last thing we need at a time of national emergency."