“Everything he says is wrong,” Redfield said of Atlas, NBC reported. Redfield later confirmed that he had spoken about Atlas.
The confirmed deaths from Covid-19 in the United States have exceeded 200,000 and the number of cases has exceeded 7 million.
Atlas, who has no background in infectious diseases but appears to have the best current access to Trump of any medical advisor, has been frequently criticized by the scientific and medical communities for offering what public health professionals consider like bad advice on the coronavirus.
Atlas has deceptively questioned the effectiveness of masks and social distancing, echoed Trump’s call for schools to reopen, and perhaps the most controversial has supported the deliberate contraction of the virus by the young people to create a so-called “collective immunity”.
Public health experts warn that the viability of “herd immunity” to the coronavirus without a vaccine is unknown, given the uncertainty over the levels and duration of immunity in individual cases. They also say that achieving “herd immunity” would involve millions of infections and unknown thousands of serious illnesses and deaths.
Atlas is a former Stanford Professor of Medicine and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution Curator at Stanford University.
His controversial statements attracted open letter of 78 former colleagues at Stanford School of Medicine, who warned his advice was dangerous.
“Many of his opinions and statements go against established science and in so doing undermine public health authorities and the credible science that guides effective public health policy,” the letter said.
Asked to respond to Redfield’s comments, Atlas told NBC News, “Everything I have said is straight from data and science. ”
In the opinion of Redfield and others, this is not true. The CDC said NBC News heard only one side of Redfield’s conversation, but did not dispute the report.
“NBC News reports one side of a private phone conversation… overheard on an Atlanta Hartsfield Airport plane,” the CDC said. “Dr Redfield had a private discussion on a number of points he made publicly about Covid-19.”