Trump COVID Adviser Scott Atlas Tells Russian State Media Lockdowns Are 'Killing' Americans

White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Scott Atlas appeared on Russian state media on Saturday and criticized lockdown measures aimed at tackling the virus, saying they were "killing" Americans.

Atlas, a radiologist, spoke to RT, formerly Russia Today, which is funded by the Kremlin and has been accused of being part of organized Russian propaganda, according to the Internet Institute at the University of Oxford.

His comments come after Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases criticized Atlas in an interview with The Washington Post. Both men are members of the Coronavirus Task Force.

Atlas told RT's Going Underground that COVID lockdowns had been a failure and were contributing to American's problems.

"The lockdowns... will go down as an epic failure of public policy by people who refused to accept they were wrong - were wrong, refused to accept they were wrong, didn't know the data, didn't care and became a frenzy of stopping COVID-19 cases at all costs."

"And those costs are massive," Atlas said. "And what's happening here is that the argument is undeniable. The lockdowns are killing people but they're not really impactful, the lockdowns.

"And by lockdowns, I don't mean everyone frozen in time and their spacesuit, all alone in a room, because that's easy to say, oh, we're not for lockdowns. 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 said.

Atlas said the U.S. was "hysterical" about COVID-19 and that "the public health leadership have failed egregiously and they're killing people with their fear-inducing shutdown policies. They are literally killing people."

He also highlighted criticism he's received for his approach to COVID-19. In October, Twitter removed one of Atlas' tweets for making a false statement about mask-wearing, while he was also criticized for making false claims about herd immunity.

Atlas said it was a "sad statement" about the U.S. media that they had "destroyed" him because of his claims. His comments contrast sharply with Fauci's warning that the country would face "a whole lot of hurt" from COVID in the coming days.

"I have real problems with that guy [Atlas]," Fauci told The Washington Post. "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. He keeps talking about things that when you dissect it out and parse it out, it doesn't make any sense."

Newsweek has contacted Dr. Scott Atlas for comment.

Dr. Scott Atlas at the White House
Dr. Scott Atlas, member of the White House's coronavirus task force, speaks at a news conference in the briefing room of the White House on September 23, in Washington, D.C. Joshua Roberts/Getty Images