Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), apparently does not have a positive view of President Donald Trump’s new coronavirus advisor Dr. Scott Atlas.
NBC News reported that during a commercial flight, Redfield discussed Atlas during a phone call. Redfield was overheard saying that “everything he says is false.”
After his flight, Redfield confirmed that he was speaking about Atlas — a neuroradiologist who joined the coronavirus task force in August.
Redfield also pushed back on Trump’s claim that the country was “rounding the corner” with the coronavirus. But, Redfield said, “We’re nowhere near the end.”
Atlas has received criticism in his role from many who have noted that he does not have experience in infectious diseases or public health.
A spokesman for the CDC said in a statement to the network, “NBC News is reporting one side of a private phone conversation by CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield that was overheard on a plane from Atlanta Hartsfield airport. Dr. Redfield was having a private discussion regarding a number of points he has made publicly about Covid-19.”
In response to Redfield’s comments, Atlas told NBC News, “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.”
The White House told the NBC News in a statement that the president “consults with many experts both inside and outside of the federal government, who sometimes disagree with one another.”
“He then makes policy decisions based on all of the information to save lives and safely reopen the country,” it added.
Atlas has previously been criticized after The Washington Post reported that he was advocating for a COVID-19 strategy of recommending that Americans wear masks and practice social distancing, but with less strict lockdown measures.
However, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany died that that strategy was ever considered, as IJR reported.
“The herd immunity, so-called, theory was something made up in the fanciful minds of the media. That was never something that was ever considered here at the White House,” McEnany said.