President-elect Joe Biden appeared to excoriate Dr. Scott Atlas — who has become President Trump’s favorite COVID-19 adviser due to the doctor’s push to reopen the country — for encouraging people to “rise up” against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in response to her new pandemic-related restrictions, during remarks on Monday.
When asked whether governors should be closing nonessential businesses and reinstating stay-at-home orders in light of surging COVID-19 cases nationwide, Biden replied that “it depends on the state.”
Biden then offered praise for “conservative Republican governors who have stepped up and issued mandates for wearing a mask” and pointed to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) as an example.
Biden also praised Whitmer, who served as a national chair for his presidential campaign, before appearing to torch Atlas for his incendiary tweet calling on the public to “rise up” against the Michigan governor for implementing COVID-19 restrictions.
“I mean, you know, the idea that the President’s now existing remaining economic adviser on COVID is saying they should ‘resist’ — what the hell is the matter with these guys?” Biden said. “What is the matter with them? Resist?”
Biden noted that leading health experts say that 100,000 lives can be saved between now and January 21 (the day after his inauguration) by wearing masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“It’s going to take a while for the vaccine to be able to be available and distributed and get to people. We’re talking about 350,000 to 400,000 people dying,” Biden said. “I mean, what are they doing? It’s totally irresponsible.”
Hours after coming under fire for his tweet calling for some kind of revolt against Whitmer, Atlas claimed he wasn’t trying to incite violence against the Michigan governor, who was the target of an alleged kidnapping scheme that the FBI foiled last month.
Hey. I NEVER was talking at all about violence. People vote, people peacefully protest. NEVER would I endorse or incite violence. NEVER!! https://t.co/LljvwMvjDV
— Scott W. Atlas (@ScottWAtlas) November 16, 2020
Watch Biden’s remarks below:
Biden slams Scott Atlas: "What the hell is the matter with these guys?" pic.twitter.com/aHfBPgjHFH
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) November 16, 2020