Speaking with RT, formerly Russia Today, Atlas argued that lockdowns and similar measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 do more harm than good.
The top official described lockdowns as an “epic failure” saying that experts who pushed for them are “refusing to accept they were wrong.”
“And what’s happening here is that the argument is undeniable. The lockdowns are killing people but they’re not really impactful,” he said.
Atlas argued that even those who are not in favor of stay-at-home orders are actually, in many ways, pro-lockdown because they support mandatory isolation and believe businesses and schools should be temporarily shut down.
“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,” he explained.
Atlas repeatedly argued that public health officials are being “hysterical” about the coronavirus pandemic, stating that they have “failed egregiously and they’re killing people with their fear-inducing shutdown policies.”
Most experts disagree with Atlas’ assessments. Some, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, have publicly criticized him for spreading what they claim is misinformation.
In a recent interview, Fauci, who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for decades, said that he has “real problems” with 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,” Fauci told The Washington Post.
During his interview with RT, Atlas touched upon the criticism he has received, noting that the social network Twitter once removed one of his tweets about mask-wearing.
He suggested that the American media has tried to destroy his reputation because he disagrees with the scientific consensus on herd immunity, masks and lockdowns.
As Newsweek noted, RT is funded by the Kremlin.
In a September article, Politico described the controversial network as part of an extensive “state-media propaganda machine,” noting that research from the Oxford Internet Institute has found that Russia uses the channel to push anti-West narratives, spread baseless conspiracy theories and undermine democratic governments.
Atlas’ remarks come as COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. According to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, America surpassed the 9 million infections mark on October 30.