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 and Birx warned Scott Atlas was 'dangerous' Beware language and the art of manipulation DeSantis rips YouTube over removal of pandemic video MORE, a research fellow there serving on President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump 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 WhitmerWhitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll Michigan developing electrified road to wirelessly charge EVs, Whitmer says Michigan GOP governor hopeful says he would support state abortion ban: recording 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.  

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciTrump on what would prevent 2024 bid: 'I guess a bad call from a doctor' Overnight Health Care — Presented by Indivior — CDC panel approves boosters for some, but not based on jobs Fauci: 'Worst time' for a government shutdown is in middle of pandemic 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 BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system 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.