coronavirus pandemic

COVID Task Force Members Worried of ‘Misinformation' Shared With Trump, Emails Show

The concerns focused on Dr. Scott Atlas, a special adviser to Trump who rejected mainstream mitigation measures in favor of herd immunity

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force during the Trump administration expressed concerns with each other about "misinformation" being shared with the president, according to emails obtained by a congressional subcommittee and shared with NBC News.

Deborah Birx, who served as COVID-19 response coordinator under former President Donald Trump, expressed concerns to Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other task force members about Scott Atlas, a radiologist who joined the White House in August 2020 as a special adviser.

“A very dangerous meeting in the OVAL yesterday,” Birx wrote before listing Atlas’ views, which included that “Case identification is bad for the President’s reelection — testing should only be of the sick.”

Birx, who is scheduled to testify Thursday before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, also told lawmakers she was pressured to make changes to some of the weekly data reports she sent to state and local officials, prompting her to obscure those recommendations by putting them in "the second part of a sentence" to make them less obvious to White House officials skimming the reports.

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