Bill Gates has criticized White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas as a ‘pseudo-expert’ and labeled him ‘off-the-rails’.
The Microsoft billionaire’s remarks about Atlas joined an increasing chorus from public health experts that sounded in recent weeks.
‘We now have a pseudo-expert advising the president,’ Gates said during Yahoo Finance‘s All Market Summit: Road to Recovery on Monday.
The outlet said that after the initial interview on October 15, Gates confirmed he was speaking about Atlas and added that the Stanford professor is ‘off-the-rails.’
While speaking during Yahoo Finance’s All Market Summit: Road to Recovery, Bill Gates (pictured) called Dr. Scott Atlas a ‘pseudo-expert’
News reports have indicated that Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist who has gained favor with the President, has promoted the controversial herd theory in the White House.
The notion has been blasted by several other experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was previously the face of the White House’s task force and called it ‘scientifically and ethically problematic.’
Fauci, in an interview on 60 Minutes, said: ‘If you just let things rip and let the infection go – no masks, crowds – that quite frankly is ridiculous.
‘What that will do is there will be so many people in the community that you can’t shelter, that you can’t protect, who are going to get sick and get serious consequences.
‘If you talk to anybody who has any experience in epidemiology and infectious diseases they’ll tell you it’s risky and you’ll wind up with many more infections of vulnerable people, which will lead to hospitalizations and deaths.
‘I think we’ve got to look that square in the eye and say it’s nonsense.’
Dr. Anthony Fauci (left) has blasted the idea of herd immunity, which Dr. Scott Atlas (right) reportedly advocated for in the White House
Later, Atlas was lambasted for sharing pandemic misinformation on Twitter, where officials with the social media site removed his misleading claim that face masks don’t work.
Twitter said that Atlas violated the policy that prohibits users from sharing false or misleading content related to the pandemic that could lead to harm.
Atlas, a former commentator on Fox News, also reportedly opposed expansions of coronavirus testing, which the U.S. struggled to accomplish throughout spring and summer.
During his interview with Yahoo Finance, Gates laid into the Trump administration for reportedly attempting to stifle the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
‘The most malign thing is where you start to attack your own experts and suggest that maybe politicians know better than disease experts,’ he told Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer.
‘In this case, the CDC has not been allowed to really speak out. When they tried to put information on their website, that got edited by politicians.’
This month, the Wall Street Journal reported that White House advisers made line-by-line edits to official guidelines created by the agency.
Trump disparaged CDC Director Robert Redfield last month, and he’s made a continual target of Fauci.
‘Tony Fauci, great person, his messages are quite clear,’ Gates told Yahoo Finance. ‘But as he gets attacked, those messages aren’t able to develop the kind of patience and helping each other that would bring the death rate down.’
Gates: ‘Tony Fauci, great person, his messages are quite clear but as he gets attacked, those messages aren’t able to develop the kind of patience and helping each other that would bring the death rate down’
Pictured: President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at HoverTech International, Monday in Allentown, Pennsylvania
Last week, Michael Osterholm, a renowned infectious disease expert, theorized the same problems over anti-science and leadership while speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press.
He explained that Americans don’t have a ‘lead’ or ‘consolidated’ voice to guide them through the pandemic at the moment.
‘People don’t know what to believe, and that’s one of our huge challenges going forward [is] that we’ve got to get a message to the public that reflects the science and reflects reality,’ said Osterholm.
‘We need somebody to start to articulate, “What is our long-term plan? How are we going to get there? Why are we asking people to sacrifice distancing? Why are we telling people if you really love your family, you won’t go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas and end up infecting mom or dad or grandpa and grandma.”
‘We don’t have that storytelling going on right now, and that’s every bit as important as the science itself.’
As coronavirus cases in the U.S. topped 8.6million and deaths reached 225,000, Gates gave a frank acknowledgement of how the U.S. has fared so far.
‘Well sadly, as we’re going into the fall, the number of cases and deaths will go back up again,’ he warned.
‘The reason those numbers are so high is, partly, because our response was very poor. Our testing, messages about masks and social distancing made us near the bottom of rich countries.’
He added that several factors – including coronavirus exhaustion, more time spent indoors and an increase of respiratory infections in cold weather – would likely continue to another round of pandemic spikes.
Gates reiterated the optimistic report that a coronavirus vaccine could emerge early next year as trials continue, but admitted a wave of resistance could upend efforts to curb the virus.
‘The wave of wild stories about the vaccine – that it’s a conspiracy, that it’s based on evil intent – often referring to either myself or Dr. Fauci, is a wild new element that I wouldn’t have expected,’ he said.
Gates said he was hopeful that a number of Americans understood ‘this is to benefit other people and so they’ll go first.’
‘There’s more risk than I expected because of that political interference and those political messages,’ he said.
Friday saw the U.S. set a single-day record for cases with more than 85,000.