Dr. Scott Atlas, who has become President Donald Trump’s favorite adviser on COVID-19 due to the doctor’s push to reopen the country, insisted on Sunday night that he wasn’t trying to encourage violence against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) when he urged people to “rise up” in response to her new pandemic-related restrictions.
“I NEVER was talking at all about violence,” Atlas tweeted. “People vote, people peacefully protest. NEVER would I endorse or incite violence. NEVER!!”
Earlier on Sunday, he had posted a tweet attacking Whitmer over her new order prohibiting indoor dining and in-person learning at high schools/universities while closing establishments involving large crowds, such as movie theaters.
“The only way this stops is if people rise up. You get what you accept. #FreedomMatters #StepUp,” Atlas wrote.
His remark came in wake of the FBI foiling an alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer by militias who were enraged by her orders restricting school and business operations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
A defiant Whitmer, whom Trump has repeatedly attacked both before and after the kidnapping scheme was exposed, hit back at Atlas during an appearance on CNN.
“We know that the White House likes to single us out here in Michigan, me out in particular,” she told CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer. “I’m not going to be bullied into not following reputable scientists and medical professionals.”
The governor also swiped at Atlas for peddling Trump-friendly talking points on the virus.
“I listen to people that actually have studied and are well respected worldwide on these issues, not the individual that is doing the President’s bidding on this one,” she said.
Watch Whitmer below:
Whitmer says she's "not going to be bullied into not following reputable scientists" on COVID-19 after Scott Atlas called on people to "rise up" in response to her latest restrictions on schools and businesses. pic.twitter.com/MNuJseNcvC
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) November 16, 2020