Donald Trump’s coronavirus adviser has suggested that people should invite their elderly relatives for Thanksgiving because it might be their last.
His harsh advice contradicts that of most public health experts who have advised families not to gather for fear of spreading Covid.
Dr Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist with no experience in public health, made the remark as he attacked lockdowns on Fox News for ‘isolating’ people.
‘This kind of isolation is [also] a tragedy of the elderly who are now being told “don’t see your family at Thanksgiving”,’ he told host Martha MacCallum.
‘For many people this is their final Thanksgiving, believe it or not. We have to have a policy… which is a whole person policy. It’s not just about stopping cases of Covid.’
The advice runs counter to that issued by Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease adviser since 1984, who said people need to avoid large gatherings this year – especially those involving the elderly.
‘People should be very careful about social gatherings, particularly when members of the family might be at a risk because of their age,’ he said last month.
‘You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering unless you’re pretty certain that the people that you’re dealing with are not infected.’
Atlas has earned a reputation for defying experts and backing Trump’s line on coronavirus, which earned him a spot advising the President over the likes of Fauci, who often contradicted his more outlandish views.
The radiologist has previous suggested that masks don’t work, pushing for schools to reopen, and encouraging colleges to restart sports activities.
Atlas’s remarks come straight of the controversy he caused by telling people in Michigan to ‘rise up’ against new lockdown measures on Twitter.
It came after Governor Whitmer announced a temporary ban indoor dining at restaurants and bars, in-person high school and college lessons and high school athletics, and closed businesses including theaters, bowling alleys and casinos.
‘The only way this stops is if people rise up. You get what you accept,’ he tweeted.
While Atlas insisted that he wasn’t advocating violence, his comments were badly received in the wake of a plot to kidnap Democrat governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Whitmer later hit out at Atlas, saying: ‘It’s just incredibly reckless considering everything that has happened, everything that is going on.
‘We really all need to be focused on the public health crisis that is ravaging our country and that poses a very real threat to every one of us.’
Michigan, which was a battleground state in this month’s presidential race, became a focus of agitation by Republican President Donald Trump and his supporters over stay-at-home orders Governor Whitmer imposed earlier this year to curb coronavirus transmissions.
She told CNN: ‘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.’
Democratic Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel also criticized Dr Atlas’s comments, describing them as ‘disappointing, irresponsible, and the reason why the United States finds itself in such desperate circumstances regarding COVID-19’.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Chris Pleasance