Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dr. Scott Atlas, a top White House coronavirus adviser, said Monday that Americans should flout public health guidance and gather as normal for the holidays as this may be "the final Thanksgiving" for many. (Photo: screenshot)

Dr. Scott Atlas, a top White House coronavirus adviser, said Monday that Americans should flout public health guidance and gather as normal for the holidays as this may be "the final Thanksgiving" for many. (Photo: screenshot)

'It's Even Worse on Video': Trump Adviser Welcomes Killing Loved Ones With Covid-19 as This May Be 'Their Final Thanksgiving' Anyway

"Eat, drink, and be merry, because tomorrow my policies may kill you."

Julia Conley

In his latest anti-science appeal to Americans, White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas on Monday night called on families to ignore the guidance of public health experts who say the holiday season should not include indoor gatherings—suggesting to Fox News that families should take the risk even for elderly or sick relatives this Thanksgiving because they will no longer be alive next year.

"This kind of isolation is one of the unspoken tragedies of the elderly who are now being told, 'Don't see your family at Thanksgiving,'" Atlas, who has no public health expertise, told Fox host Martha MacCallum. "For many people this is their final Thanksgiving, believe it or not. What are we doing here?"

Stanford University, where Atlas was a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution before joining President Donald Trump's coronavirus team, promptly distanced itself from the doctor's comments, while political observers expressed shock on social media.

Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall wrote that for many Americans it will be their last Thanksgiving "because they're attending Thanksgiving."

Protecting the elderly from Covid-19 is one of the main reasons infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and other officials have called on Americans to skip indoor family gatherings and traveling this year. Last week he advised Americans to wear face coverings at any gatherings they do have if they don't know the Covid-19 status of all attendees. 

Meanwhile, Atlas has falsely stated that face masks don't reduce transmission of Covid-19 and is a proponent of the U.S. government taking a "herd immunity" approach to the pandemic—encouraging people who are relatively young and healthy to go about their daily lives with no regard for mask-wearing, social distancing, or the existence of a virus that's killed more than 246,000 people in the U.S. this year, while using unspecified methods to separate them from people who are elderly or at high risk for severe Covid-19 infections.  

The "herd immunity" approach, euphemistically rebranded as "focused protection" by some proponents, has been denounced as "fringe" by seasoned public health officials. 

On Sunday, Atlas also called on Michigan residents to "rise up" against public health guidance after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that in-person learning, indoor dining, organized sports, and other activities would be shut down for three weeks to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

"This guy is a public health menace and it needs to stop now," tweeted one emergency room physician on Monday evening following Atlas's comments about Thanksgiving. 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Incredible': Omar and Khanna Staffers Join Levin's Office in Unionizing

"It is long past time the United States Congress became a unionized workplace, and that includes my own staff," said Rep. Ilhan Omar. "I am proud of all the people on my team who have played a leading role in the staff unionization effort. Solidarity forever."

Jessica Corbett ·


Destructive Hurricanes Fuel Calls for Biden to Declare Climate Emergency

"Mother Nature is not waiting for the president or Congress to declare a climate emergency. She's showing us in real-time here in the United States—with wildfires, floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, and drought."

Jessica Corbett ·


Spain Approves 'Solidarity' Tax to Make Nation's Top 0.1% Pay a Fairer Share

The country's finance minister said that looming changes are bound to make the tax code "more progressive, efficient, fair, and also enough to guarantee social justice and economic efficiency."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Time to Take to the Streets': Working Class Hold 'Enough Is Enough' Rallies Across UK

"Does a CEO need an extra zero at the end of their salary—or should nurses, posties, and teachers be able to heat their homes?" said one supporter ahead of the #EnoughIsEnough National Day of Action.

Julia Conley ·


Ukraine Responds to Putin Annexations With Fast-Track NATO Application

Lamenting the lack of any progress toward a diplomatic settlement, one anti-war campaigner asked: "Will the world stand idly by as we careen towards nuclear apocalypse?"

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo