Dr. Anthony Fauci, who serves on the White House’s COVID-19 response team, on Monday morning repudiated his colleague Scott Atlas’ tweet encouraging people to “rise up” against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“I totally disagree with it,” Fauci said during an interview with “Today Show” host Savannah Guthrie. “I made no secret of that.”
“I don’t want to say anything about Dr. Atlas as a person, but I totally disagree with the stand he takes,” he added. “I just do, period.”
Atlas, whose skepticism toward masks and school closings has made him President Donald Trump’s favorite COVID-19 adviser, came under fire on Sunday over an incendiary tweet calling for some kind of revolt against Whitmer for placing new restrictions on schools and businesses amid the pandemic.
“The only way this stops is if people rise up,” Atlas tweeted. “You get what you accept.”
Several hours later, the doctor claimed he wasn’t trying to whip up violence against Whitmer, who was the target of an alleged kidnapping scheme that the FBI exposed last month.
“I NEVER was talking at all about violence,” Atlas tweeted. “People vote, people peacefully protest. NEVER would I endorse or incite violence. NEVER!!”
Atlas and Fauci have been at odds with each other over the former’s Trump-friendly portrayal of the pandemic.
Last month, Fauci acknowledged that Atlas has more of Trump’s attention nowadays than he does.
“I definitely don’t have his ear as much as Scott Atlas right now,” Fauci told MSNBC.