Newly unearthed emails reveal that Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx were deeply alarmed by the medical advice of Dr. Scott Atlas, the controversial former health adviser appointed by former President Donald Trump.
BuzzFeed News reports that Birx and Fauci exchanged emails expressing concerns about Atlas, who downplayed the science surrounding face masks while also pushing for the United States to reopen its economy even as thousands of Americans were dying every day from COVID-19.
"I am more convinced than ever the dangers of Dr. Atlas' views on the pandemic," Birx wrote in one email to Fauci and other health officials.
Less than two weeks after Atlas was hired, Birx warned that he had a habit of "providing information not based on data or knowledge of pandemics — nor pandemic responses on the ground but by personal opinion formed by cherry picking data from nonpeer reviewed COVID publications."
"I agree with your concerns," Fauci replied. "He is a very clever guy and knows the literature (in his own way). It is in the interpretation of the literature that we differ."
Atlas, a neuroradiologist who had no expertise in highly contagious viruses, was hired by Trump as a medical adviser after the former president saw him downplaying the need for pandemic restrictions while appearing on Fox News.