POST 70. November 16, 2020. CORONAVIRUS. “White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Atlas criticized Michigan’s new Covid-19 restrictions..urging people to “rise up” against the new public health measures.

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“The only way this stops is if people rise up,” Atlas said. “You get what you accept. #FreedomMatters #StepUp”

His message — which runs counter to the consensus of public health officials — is likely to fuel new tension between the White House and Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, whom federal and state officials announced last month was the target of an alleged domestic terrorism kidnapping plot.

Responding to Atlas’ tweet Sunday evening, Whitmer told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “We know that the White House likes to single us out here in Michigan, me out in particular. I’m not going to be bullied into not following reputable scientists and medical professionals.”

Instead, Whitmer said, she consults “people that actually have studied and are well respected worldwide on these issues, not the — not the individual that is doing the President’s bidding on this one.” (A)

“Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, once again distanced himself from a doctor advising the president on COVID-19, saying he “totally disagrees” with Scott Atlas.

Atlas, a neuroradiologist with no training in infectious diseases, has taken to Twitter in recent days to rail against closures of some businesses and high schools in Michigan in response to COVID-19.

“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 Monday on NBC’s “Today.”

Atlas has repeatedly criticized closures and restrictions that are aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus, arguing they are harmful for the economy and mental health.

He has become a favored adviser of Trump because of their similar views on the COVID-19 response. While Fauci has warned of the danger of rising case numbers across the U.S. and urged mask-wearing and social distancing, Atlas has argued that young and healthy people should be allowed to resume their lives as normal because they are less likely to become seriously ill if they get COVID-19.

As the U.S. enters the worst stage of the pandemic thus far, with about 150,000 new cases confirmed per day, governors and local leaders have instituted new restrictions aimed at slowing the spread and keeping hospitals from being overwhelmed with patients… “  (B)

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