Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday joined fellow White House coronavirus task members Dr. Deborah Birx and Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Robert Redfield in expressing his concerns that President Trump’s new favorite COVID-19 adviser, Dr. Scott Atlas, is feeding the President misinformation amid the pandemic.
On Monday, NBC News reported that while on a flight from Atlanta to Washington D.C., Redfield was overheard criticizing Atlas — a neurologist who hasn’t practiced medicine since 2012 — by proclaiming that “everything he says is false” on COVID-19.
Redfield’s reportedly dim view of the President’s favorite COVID-19 adviser comes a week after CNN reported that Birx, another prominent task force member who has managed to stay in the President’s good graces, has become “distressed” over Trump’s admiration of Atlas.
According to CNN, Birx views Atlas as “somebody who matches what (Trump) wants to believe” as the President continues offering a rosy picture of his administration’s COVID-19 response amid the country topping more than 200,000 fatalities from the novel coronavirus.
During an interview on CNN later Monday, Fauci was asked whether he shares Redfield’s concerns regarding Atlas sharing misleading information with the President.
Fauci replied that he agrees with Redfield because he is concerned that “sometimes things are said that are really taken either out of context or are actually incorrect.”
Fauci added that he’s not one to publicly criticize people and that if he has an issue with someone, he prefers sitting down with them and explain why his views differs from theirs in order to “come to some sort of resolution.”
Fauci then acknowledged his differences with Atlas, who has faced widespread criticism for advocating a contrarian approach to managing the novel coronavirus while lacking epidemiological expertise. One example includes Atlas pushing for the reopening of schools amid outbreaks related to in-person instruction.
“So, I mean, my differences with Dr. Atlas — I’m always willing to sit down and talk with him and see if we can resolve those differences,” Fauci said.
When asked about whether Redfield and Atlas are working together or working against each other, Fauci replied that “most” members of the White House coronavirus are before appearing to suggest that Atlas is an “outlier.”
“Well, most are working together,” Fauci said. “I think, you know who the outlier is.”
Shortly before Fauci’s remarks aired, Trump said during a coronavirus testing event at the White House that the country is “rounding the corner” — an assertion that Fauci directly refuted earlier this month in an interview on MSNBC — despite the country’s death toll from COVID-19 surpassing 200,000 last week.
Both Fauci and Birx were notably absent from Trump’s COVID-19 testing event at the White House, which Atlas attended.
Watch Fauci’s remarks below:
Fauci suggests there is an "outlier" on White House coronavirus task force when asked about CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield's concerns that Dr. Scott Atlas is sharing misleading information with President Trump on COVID-19 pic.twitter.com/YydIhtj4YE
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) September 28, 2020