Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Robert Redfield was overheard on an airplane candidly expressing his real feelings on Friday, revealing to all his dim view of President Trump’s new favorite COVID-19 adviser, NBC reported.
“Everything he says is false,” Redfield said of Dr. Scott Atlas, a radiologist who hasn’t practiced medicine since 2012.
Before joining the White House’s coronavirus task force in August 2020, Atlas had not spent time on epidemiology but rather on advocacy against “socialized medicine.”
An NBC News reporter overheard Redfield discussing Atlas while on a flight from Atlanta to Washington D.C. After the flight landed, Redfield confirmed to NBC that he was discussing Atlas.
Atlas has faced widespread criticism for advocating a contrarian approach to managing the virus while lacking epidemiological expertise, recommending, for example, that all schools be reopened.
— Scott W. Atlas (@SWAtlasHoover) September 28, 2020
Faculty members at Stanford University Medical School sent an open letter on September 10 accusing Atlas of peddling “falsehoods,” to which he responded with a threat of a defamation lawsuit sent by Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz.
Dr. Deborah Birx, another prominent task force member who has managed to stay in the President’s good graces, is reportedly “distressed” over how enamored Trump has become with Atlas.
“Everything I have said is directly from the data and the science. It echoes what is said by many of the top medical scientists in the world, including those at Stanford, Harvard, and Oxford,” Atlas told NBC in a statement.
This post has been corrected.