Recent reports accusing Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Scott Atlas of promoting a "herd immunity" strategy for fighting the coronavirus pandemic just aren't true, Atlas said Tuesday, calling the reports an “overt lie.”
“The news is out of control,” Atlas said during an appearance on Fox News' “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “There's news, there’s opinion and then there’s overt lies — and that was one of those overt lies.”
Atlas told host Tucker Carlson he was not advising anyone to pursue a herd immunity strategy and has never mentioned it to President Trump or the task force.
“No one’s ever said that to the president,” he said. “I’ve never heard the president say that, and that is not a strategy here in any way, shape, or form.”
Dr. Scott Atlas, right, President Trump’s pandemic adviser, gestures as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis looks on during a news conference in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 31, 2020. (Associated Press)
“It’s just an overt lie,” he added. “But this is Washington and I’m learning quite a bit. Nothing about the coronavirus but I’m learning quite a bit about human nature here.”
The Washington Post was one of the outlets that released a story on Atlas’ supposed “strategy.” Atlas said he never spoke with the newspaper and even after White House communications cleared up the accusation, the media continued to “attack it as if it were still fact.”
“I guess the denial has nothing to do with anything,” he said. “I can’t control what anyone else says. I can only control what I say."