Scott Atlas: Fauci 'just one person on the task force'

White House coronavirus task force member Scott Atlas said Tuesday that top infectious diseases expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Supreme Court takes case that could diminish Roe v. Wade | White House to send US-authorized vaccines overseas for first time The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Israel-Hamas carnage worsens; Dems face SALT dilemma Schools face new pressures to reopen for in-person learning MORE is “just one person on the task force.”

Atlas, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, told UnHerd’s “Lockdown TV” that recommendations to President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP-led Maricopa County board decries election recount a 'sham' Analysis: Arpaio immigration patrol lawsuit to cost Arizona county at least 2 million Conservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization MORE come from sources in the task force, inside government and outside of government.

“There’s a variety of people, which is appropriate because it’s a complicated situation, and it’s not just about one facet,” he said. 


Atlas said he was brought into the task force as “a health care policy person” to “translate medical science into public policy,” which he said is “very different from being an epidemiologist or a virologist with a single sort of limited scope or limited view on things.”

Atlas's comments come as Trump slammed Fauci this week during a campaign call with staff, saying that he has given inconsistent advice about the pandemic. The president claimed that if he would've followed all of the public health expert's advice, there would be between 700,000 and 800,000 deaths. 

Trump also called Fauci a "disaster" and said that Americans are tired of the coronavirus. 

“People are tired of COVID. Yup, there’s going to be spikes, there’s going to be no spikes, there’s going to be vaccines. With or without vaccines, people are tired of COVID,” Trump said on the private call, according to audio obtained by The Hill.  

Fauci later dismissed the claims from the president, calling them a distraction. 


UnHerd’s Freddie Sayers then asked how people should “interpret” both he and Fauci “being advisers to the president and yet with apparently such different views.”

“Well, I don’t speak for Dr. Fauci at all,” Atlas responded. “He’s just one person on the task force. There’s several people on the task force, you know, and his background is virology, immunology, infectious disease. That’s his approach.”

“It’s a very different background,” he continued. “It’s a more limited approach and, you know, I don’t speak for him. I don’t speak for anybody. I speak for the interpretation of the data, and the subsequent evolution of that data into the best policy advice that I can give the president of the United States.”

Recent reports indicated not all White House coronavirus task force members agree with Atlas’s approach. The task force’s coronavirus response coordinator, Deborah BirxDeborah BirxTulane adds Hunter Biden as guest speaker on media polarization The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Supreme Court announces unanimous rulings The Memo: The mystery of post-presidency Trump MORErecently confronted Vice President Pence about Atlas’s policies and influence on Trump.

Atlas reportedly has praised the herd immunity strategy described in the “Great Barrington Declaration” that promotes spreading the virus among young people who are at lower risk of developing severe symptoms to build up immunity, while protecting more vulnerable populations. Many health experts have slammed the strategy, saying it would lead to hundreds of thousands of more deaths. 


In the Tuesday interview, Atlas denied that he was advocating for a herd immunity approach and said that it is not the official position of the White House.

“There’s some kind of a strange distortion, a persistent sort of attempt to characterize my advice and the policy of the White House and the policy of other people into something that some people have called a ‘herd immunity' strategy,” he said. 

“That’s never been the policy that I’ve advised,” Atlas continued. “That’s never been the policy that’s ever even been discussed inside the White House, not even for a single minute. And that’s never been the president of the United States or anybody else here.”

The U.S. has confirmed more than 8.2 million COVID-19 cases and 221,150 fatalities, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.