The Trump administration’s top coronavirus adviser, Dr. Scott Atlas, appeared on Russian state television Saturday and asserted that lockdowns in the United States are “killing” Americans, though he failed to provide any empirical data to support his allegation.

Newsweek notes that Atlas was a guest on RT (which used to be known as Russia Today), which is financially supported by the Kremlin and is known to disseminate Russian propaganda.

State and national lockdowns, according to Atlas (a radiologist who has zero experience in the field of infectious disease or public health) have contributed to problems the U.S. has experienced:

“The lockdowns… will go down as an epic failure of public policy by people who refused to accept they were wrong – were wrong, refused to accept they were wrong, didn’t know the data, didn’t care and became a frenzy of stopping COVID-19 cases at all costs.”

“And those costs are massive. And what’s happening here is that the argument is undeniable. The lockdowns are killing people but they’re not really impactful, the lockdowns.”

Atlas then added:

“And by lockdowns, I don’t mean everyone frozen in time and their spacesuit, all alone in a room, because that’s easy to say, oh, we’re not for lockdowns. But what they are for are testing asymptomatics, confining people into isolation from their work, from their family for 7, for 14 days, closing in-person schools, closing businesses. That’s lockdown.

“The public health leadership have failed egregiously and they’re killing people with their fear-inducing shutdown policies. They are literally killing people.”

Earlier in the day, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, criticized Atlas, telling The Washington Post:

“I have real problems with that guy [Atlas]. He’s a smart guy who’s talking about things that I believe he doesn’t have any real insight or knowledge or experience in. He keeps talking about things that when you dissect it out and parse it out, it doesn’t make any sense.”

Fauci also made it clear that as colder weather arrives across the country, the United States is not prepared for a combination of both COVID-19 and influenza:

“All the stars are aligned in the wrong place. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”

Despite those warnings, President Donald Trump continues to minimize the virus and mock those who wear protective masks, whining at campaign rallies that all the media wants to talk about is “Covid, Covid, Covid!” But as deaths from coronavirus begin to spike above 1,000 and cases rising, the president cannot deny that Americans remain focused on the virus as the number one issue as they cast their ballots.

To date, over 230,000 Americans have died as a result of COVID-19.

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