Dr. Scott Atlas quietly joined the Trump administration as an adviser a few weeks ago, but has quickly been gaining influence with President Donald Trump by pushing a get-back-to-normal, no-masks-needed coronavirus response.

He is the most recent medical professional to have appeared at one of Trump’s evening briefings, and he even helps prepare the president’s opening remarks.

As the virus has continues to rage across the country months before the Nov. 3 presidential elections, with the U.S. recording 5.5 million coronavirus cases and more than 170,000 deaths, Trump has looked to Atlas to cast the virus in a more optimistic light.

Atlas, a former chief of neuroradiology at the Stanford Medical Center, previously advised presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. He does have a background in infectious diseases.


A week of political news in your in-box.
We find the news you need to know, so you don't have to.

Atlas caught the attention of the president and several of his top aides by way of his Fox News appearances in which he consistently downplayed the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and risks of resuming normal activities, including pushing for schools to reopen.

“It is proven children have no significant risk,” he said of schools reopening during a July 15 television appearance. In addition to the teachers and staff who are at risk, several schools that have attempted reopening have been forced to reverse course due to positive cases in students.

Atlas has argued against expanded COVID-19 testing in private meetings, including a proposal from the coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx to boost testing via at-home methods including saliva testing.

According to Politico, he also contradicted Dr. Anthony Fauci during a recent task force meeting, arguing that science does not support mask mandates despite recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say otherwise.

White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere denounced claims that Atlas is just saying what the president wants to hear in order to gain favorability in a statement.

“We are all in this fight together, and only the media has distorted and diminished Dr. Atlas’ highly acclaimed career simply because he has come to serve the President,” Deere said. “Dr. Atlas, like all of the medical experts in the Administration, is working to carry out the President’s number one priority: protecting the health and safety of the American people.”

Read more about:

Get the free uPolitics mobile app for the latest political news and videos

iPhone Android

Leave a comment