Former Trump adviser Dr. Scott Atlas was met with a chorus of boos and chants from graduates of the New College of Florida as he delivered a keynote speech at their ceremony,.
Atlas was known for being a harsh critic of lockdown and mask policies during the COVID-19 pandemic during his time as a member of then-President Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force.
Students protested his speech at New College by holding an alternative commencement ceremony Thursday evening where they heard remarks from Maya Wiley, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
The DeSantis’ state government regime installed a puppet Board of Trustees at New College and invited a far-right commencement speaker for graduation.
Things did not go well. 🤣 pic.twitter.com/e6r01muhf2
— Carlos Guillermo Smith (@CarlosGSmith) May 20, 2023
In his speech, Atlas heavily criticized pandemic lockdown measures and slammed both President Joe Biden and Trump for their “failure” at handling the pandemic. He also slammed faculty at universities who he said “are now dangerously intolerant of opinions contrary to their favorite narrative.”
As he spoke, students shouted out and talked over him. As his speech went on, graduates started to chant, “Wrap it up!”
“The era of accepting what so-called experts say simply based on their titles alone is over,” Atlas said. “Learn the facts, use critical thinking and only then do you form the opinion. That’s the order. it doesn’t work in the reverse.”
The incident was likely fueled by anger over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis replacing nearly half of the liberal arts college’s board of trustees with his preferred candidates.