Dr. Scott Atlas, a member of the White House COVID-19 task force who is infamous for parroting Trump-friendly but scientifically dubious talking points about the pandemic, brushed off criticism from his fellow team members on Monday night.
Atlas, who does not have a background in epidemiology, told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that the backlash over his misleading comments about herd immunity and young people’s susceptibility to COVID-19 was just about “delegitimizing” President Donald Trump and “feeding into some kind of false narrative that the President doesn’t listen to the science or the scientists.”
“He clearly listens to a lot of people. He understands, in a very common sense way, what the science shows and what should be done to save the American lives, and that’s why I’m here,” Atlas said. “I’m not here to make friends.”
Earlier on Monday, NBC News reported that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield was overheard ripping into Atlas during a phone call, complaining that “everything he says is false.”
And when Dr. Anthony Fauci, another health expert on the task force, was asked during a CNN interview if he and Atlas were working with each other, Fauci stated that “most” members of the team were working together, but “you know who the outlier is.”
It’s not just Redfield and Fauci who appear to be at odds with Atlas; 78 faculty members at Stanford University Medical School issued an open letter to the doctor slamming him for peddling claims about the virus that “undermine public health authorities and the credible science that guides effective public health policy.”
Atlas threatened to sue the faculty members in response to the letter with the assistance of Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz.
Watch Atlas below:
Dr. Scott Atlas on criticism from other health experts on WH COVID-19 team: "I’m not here to make friends.” pic.twitter.com/ElYwHwsJ1n
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) September 29, 2020