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Stanford seeks distance from Trump adviser over coronavirus comments

Stanford seeks distance from Trump adviser over coronavirus comments
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Officials at Stanford University are attempting to distance the school from comments made by Scott AtlasScott AtlasFauci defends Birx: 'She had to live in the White House' UPDATED: McEnany, Fox News talks on pause Birx: Someone was delivering a 'parallel set of data' on coronavirus to Trump MORE, a research fellow there serving on President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE's coronavirus task force who has peddled controversial theories about the pandemic and the politics behind it. 

"The university has been asked to comment on recent statements made by Dr. Scott Atlas, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution who is on leave of absence from that position," the school said late Monday evening in a statement. "Stanford’s position on managing the pandemic in our community is clear. We support using masks, social distancing, and conducting surveillance and diagnostic testing. We also believe in the importance of strictly following the guidance of local and state health authorities." 

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Atlas over the weekend clashed with Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerSunday shows preview: Manchin makes the rounds after pivotal role in coronavirus relief debate FBI informant describes plot against Whitmer It's time to eliminate bureaucratic barriers to health care access MORE (D), who announced new restrictions on public gatherings, restaurants and other aspects of life in an effort to stymie ballooning cases of COVID-19.

Several other governors have announced similar stay-at-home measures or guidance in recent days. 

"The only way this stops is if people rise up," Atlas said in a tweet. "You get what you accept." 

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Earlier this year, federal authorities intercepted a plot by domestic terrorists in Michigan to kidnap Whitmer and bring her to a remote location outside the state to have her "stand trial" for the "crimes" they believed she had committed against citizens of the state and their freedoms.  

Atlas has also promoted so-called herd immunity as a means of getting the pandemic under control, a strategy that would limit lockdown measures to only segments of the community deemed "at risk" while allowing all other members of society to go about their daily lives normally, allowing the virus to run its course. 

Atlas has broken publicly with the nation's leading health experts and questioned the efficacy of mask usage and social distancing. 

In September, Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was overheard on a private telephone call complaining about Atlas's posturing on the pandemic. 

"Everything he says is false," Redfield.  

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Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: Manchin makes the rounds after pivotal role in coronavirus relief debate Overnight Defense: White House open to reforming war powers | Army base might house migrant children | Fauci scolds military on vaccine Overnight Health Care: CDC study links masks to fewer COVID-19 deaths | Relief debate stalls in Senate | Biden faces criticism over push to vaccinate teachers MORE, the nation's leading infectious diseases expert, has also distanced himself from the rhetoric Atlas has espoused.  

“I don't want to say anything against Dr. Atlas as a person, but I totally disagree with the stand he takes. I just do, period,” Fauci said on Monday. 

Stanford echoed Fauci's sentiment. 

"Dr. Atlas has expressed views that are inconsistent with the university’s approach in response to the pandemic," the school said. "Dr. Atlas’s statements reflect his personal views, not those of the Hoover Institution or the university."

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Myanmar military conducts violent night raids Confidence in coronavirus vaccines has grown with majority now saying they want it MORE slammed the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus again on Monday, suggesting more people will die if the president does not soon concede that he lost the election and allow Biden campaign officials to coordinate a transition of power.