President Trump is sometimes getting information that is out of context or downright wrong, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday.
CNN’s Brian Stelter asked Fauci if he’s worried that Dr. Scott Atlas is sharing misleading information with the President. “Well yeah, I’m concerned that sometimes things are said that are really taken either out of context or actually incorrect,” Fauci answered.
Fauci said he did not see it as a matter of conflict.
“If I have an issue with someone, I’ll try and sit down with them and let them know why I differ with them and see if we can come to some sort of resolution,” Fauci said. “So, I mean my differences with Dr. Atlas, I’m always willing to sit down and talk with him and see if we could resolve those differences.”
Stelter asked if there could be legitimate disagreements about issues such as masks.
“When it comes to a mask…I can just tell you how I feel. And what I feel is not very much different from what has been expressed by Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC. Masks are critically important in preventing the transmission and acquisition of SARS coronavirus 2. The data are strong. There’s no doubt about that.”
More on this: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield is concerned that Atlas, a White House coronavirus task force member, is providing Trump with misleading information about Covid-19, a federal official told CNN.
NBC News reported Monday that Redfield was overheard during a phone call in public on a commercial airline to say, “Everything he says is false.” NBC News, which heard the comment, said Redfield acknowledged after the flight from Atlanta to Washington, D.C., that he was speaking about Dr. Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist who joined the White House coronavirus task force in August.
NBC said that Redfield, in a conversation with a colleague that took place on Friday, suggested Atlas is providing Trump with misleading data about the efficacy of masks, young people’s susceptibility to the coronavirus and herd immunity.
In a statement to CNN, a CDC spokesman did not deny the conversation took place.
In a statement sent Monday afternoon, the CDC acknowledged Redfield and Atlas have “different positions” on some issues: “The article quotes Dr. Redfield as saying “Everything he says is false” but it cannot supply the context for that statement since only one side of the private conversation being eavesdropped on was heard. Positions on three issues, the value of wearing a mask, youth COVID-19 infections, and where we are currently with herd immunity, are the positions that Dr. Redfield has different positions on than Dr. Atlas. The doctors agree on many other issues.”
A federal health official tells CNN, more broadly, “bottomline, the story is accurate.”