Yes. In these United States of America, an open-minded receptiveness to, and respect for facts and data do mark an "elite." The majority view in the US is to look down upon, scorn, and suspect "too much" education, expertise, etc. The majority position is, "If I don't understand it, it is suspect." This is true of virology; it's true of quantum mechanics; it's true of all branches of advanced knowledge.
You know it's true. Ph.D.'s are considered "elitists" - not because of their attitudes, but because they're educated, and that bothers the "average" American. Too many of us see a person with more knowledge, competence, or achievement than we have as "looking down" on us - whether they're actually condescending or not. Probably (my speculation) due to our common cultural belief in unlimited social and economic mobility (which isn't real, of course, but...), with the implication that if "he" has more knowledge, competence or achievement than "I" have, that means that "I" have failed. Ergo, "his" very presence - "his" existence - becomes condescending.
To paraphrase Neil DeGrasse Tyson (well-known elitist): "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it." This is reality - even when what science tells us isn't particularly pleasant.
If you believe that magic trumps science, and that magic will save you from reality... you're riding for a fall. And yes, in this paragraph, magic = religion.
I don't have any objection to how people practice their religion - and I don't expect others to quibble with my religious practices. But, when your religion tells you that you can overcome reality with belief, I do ask - no, I demand - that you stay out of public life, out of government... because your beliefs threaten the well-being of others, who do not share those beliefs, and who may not want to ignore reality to prove fealty to your particular understanding of God.