Trump’s favorite COVID-19 adviser appeared on Russia’s state-controlled RT network late Saturday to declare the coronavirus pandemic mostly under control and insist that it’s actually lockdowns that are “killing people.”
Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist, was introduced on RT’s Going Underground as “one of the only two men the U.S. president apparently listens to on the pandemic.”
He conceded that COVID-19 has been “deadly” and stressed that “there’s no understating that.” But he went on to state that many lives had also been “lost from the policy of shutdowns,” which he described as an “epic failure of public policy by people who refuse to accept they were wrong.”
“The public health leadership… They’re killing people with their fear-inducing shutdown policies,” he said, without specifying who he was referring to. Contrary to his claims, studies have actually shown that tens of thousands of lives could have been saved with earlier lockdowns.
Atlas went on to complain about the criticism he has faced since joining the president’s task force after Trump saw him on Fox News echoing many of his own ideas about the virus.
“When you come up and you stand next to the president of the United States in an attempt to help the country in the biggest crisis of the world, you must be destroyed by the media in the United States. It’s a sad statement in America that the U.S. is hysterical over this,” Atlas said.
Atlas’ appearance on the network came as another member of President Trump’s coronavirus task force expressed “real problems” with him in an interview with The Washington Post.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious diseases expert who has faced the ire of Trump and his allies for daring to contradict the president’s rosy claims, said Atlas was a “smart guy who’s talking about things that I believe he doesn’t have any real insight or knowledge or experience in. He keeps talking about things that when you dissect it out and parse it out, it doesn’t make any sense.”