White House adviser Scott Atlas said on Sunday that he regrets participating in an interview with a Russian TV network registered as a “foreign agent.”
Atlas, one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpPoll: Trump leads Biden by 7 points in Iowa Biden campaign cancels event in Texas after pro-Trump cars surrounded its bus Obama shooting three pointer while campaigning for Biden goes viral MORE’s most trusted advisers on the coronavirus pandemic, tweeted an apology for doing the interview with RT, saying he “was unaware they are a registered foreign agent.”
“I regret doing the interview and apologize for allowing myself to be taken advantage of,” he said. “I especially apologize to the national security community who is working hard to defend us.”
I recently did an interview with RT and was unaware they are a registered foreign agent. I regret doing the interview and apologize for allowing myself to be taken advantage of. I especially apologize to the national security community who is working hard to defend us.
— Scott W. Atlas (@SWAtlasHoover) November 1, 2020
In his RT interview, Atlas, a neuroradiologist, criticized lockdown policies implemented due to the pandemic, saying they are “killing people,” according to Business Insider.
Public health officials have sometimes supported these policies to limit the spread of the virus and ensure people are not in close contact with one another, but most states haven’t been under full lockdowns since the early summer.
“It’s a deadly pandemic, there’s no understating that,” Atlas said. “We’ve had 230,000 lives roughly lost from the virus and certainly many lost from the policy of shutdowns.”
“The lockdowns will go down as an epic failure of public policy,” he added. “The argument is undeniable. The lockdowns are killing people.”
Atlas also alleged that shutdowns and other coronavirus restrictions are “creating a generation of neurotic children” and leading more college students to kill themselves “due to the lockdown,” Business Insider noted.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention did see an increase in those aged 18 to 24 considering suicide in June, but that statistic was not directly linked to shutdowns.
Experts have said the early shutdowns in the country saved tens of thousands of lives.
Last month, Twitter removed one of Atlas’s tweets that questioned the use of masks, sparking the White House adviser to condemn the social media platform.
The U.S. has confirmed more than 9.1 million COVID-19 cases and 230,811 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.