“You know, my contact at the White House has been Dr. Birx, Dr. Fauci. They have been aligned very, very closely. The message has been, ‘We got to take this seriously, we got to wear a mask’,” DeWine told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” when asked about the role Dr. Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the task force, is playing in the pandemic.
“They have given very good guidance and, you know, I have been following those two as well as a lot of other infectious disease experts and people who we can talk to,” the governor said.
Atlas, a neuroradiologist with no training in the field of infectious disease, has misrepresented the effectiveness of masks and discouraged testing of asymptomatic people, even though most medical experts, including Birx and Fauci, believe it is a critical element of stopping the spread of the virus.
Atlas — known for his out-of-the-mainstream views about the coronavirus, including the potential benefits of herd immunity — made dubious claims in a 27-minute interview to RT, the propaganda network that had played a major role in the Kremlin’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election and later was forced to formally register with the Justice Department as an agent of the Russian government.
“He’s a smart guy who’s talking about things that I believe he doesn’t have any real insight or knowledge or experience in. He keeps talking about things that when you dissect it out and parse it out, it doesn’t make any sense,” Fauci told the Post.