CDC director Redfield raises alarm over Trump’s new virus adviser

Director Redfield says Dr. Scott Atlas is misleading the president

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 The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes President Donald Trump is spreading misinformation about the coronavirus. While on a commercial flight an NBC News reporter overheard Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, say that Trump’s new task force advisor, Dr. Scott Atlas, is feeding Trump misleading data about the coronavirus.

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“Everything he says is false,” said Dr. Redfield while on a call with a colleague on the public flight from Atlanta to Washington D.C., per NBC News. When questioned by the reporter, Redfield acknowledged the veracity of the call and the CDC followed up with a statement.

“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,” the CDC said in an email to NBC News. “Dr. Redfield was having a private discussion regarding a number of points he has made publicly about Covid-19.”

Dr. Redfield and the CDC have been advocating wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as it could slow the spread faster than a vaccine. “If every one of us did it, this pandemic would be over in eight to 12 weeks,” Redfield said when he testified before Congress earlier this month.

Yet Trump counters that we are “rounding the corner” on the pandemic, though as of today, more than 204,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the United States and 7 million have been infected.

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Dr. Atlas, a neuroradiologist with no training or experience in infectious disease, joined the coronavirus task force in August and is the closest medical advisor to Trump. Prior to his new role, he appeared often on Fox News to agree with the President’s stance on the pandemic, including that schools should fully reopen.

Trump Dr. Scott Atlas Robert Redfield coronavirus
Dr. Scott Atlas, member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, speaks at a news conference in the briefing room of the White House on September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

When Redfield testified on Capitol Hill last week, he claimed that 90% of the country is vulnerable to catching the virus, but Atlas says his numbers are off.

He claims Redfield “misstated” the facts and that is using “old data” though Redfield cited coronavirus data from July and August.

When NBC News reporter Peter Alexander asked Atlas why the public should believe him over the head of the CDC, he responded, “You’re supposed to believe the science, and I’m telling you the science.”

On Thursday Atlas told Fox News, “The data is out there, and we don’t all have to be paralyzed with fear,” he said. “We have to do very, very diligent protection of the people who are vulnerable, and those are usually older people with other comorbidities, and we need to open, because we know the harms of not opening.”

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