Image source: Getty Images
Dr. Scott Atlas, President Donald Trump’s controversial special adviser on the coronavirus, has resigned.
Thanking President Trump for the honor of serving the American people, Dr. Atlas said he “always relied on the latest science and evidence, without any political consideration or influence.”
During his four months in the role, Dr. Atlas questioned the need for masks and other pandemic control measures.
He has also repeatedly clashed with other members of the coronavirus task force.
In August, Dr. Scott Atlas, a radiologist and senior fellow at the Hoover Conservative Institute at Stanford University, joined the working group. In addition to questioning the usefulness of masks, he opposes the conclusions and supports herd immunity as a strategy to deal with the outbreak.
It sparked further controversy last month when he tweeted “people stand up” in response to new restrictions imposed in Michigan.
Dr. Atlas’s tweet came just weeks after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer appeared, the subject of an alleged kidnapping attempt by militiamen opposed to efforts to mitigate the viruses.
Public health officials – including top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fautsi – have accused Dr. Atlas of giving President Trump misleading information about the spread of the virus.
As of November 29, the number of Covid-19 cases registered in the United States in November exceeded four million, twice as many as in October.
Stanford University academics welcomed Dr. Atlas’ resignation, saying it was “a long time ago and underscores the triumph of science and truth over lies and misinformation.”
President Trump has admitted to belittling the coronavirus, and Bob Woodward’s book reveals the coronavirus: President Trump claims to have seen evidence that the virus started in a Chinese laboratory
Fox News said Dr. Atlas has joined the administration on a 130-day contract that is due to expire this week.
In his resignation letter from Fox, Dr. Atlas said his advice “has always focused on minimizing all the damage from both the pandemic and the structural policies themselves, especially for the working class and the poor.”
He also spoke of “the free exchange of ideas that lead to scientific truths”, adding: “In fact, I can’t think of a time when the defense of science and scientific debate is more urgent.”
President-elect Joe Biden takes a significantly different stance than his predecessor, urging everyone to wear masks and promising the basis of science for his pandemic policy.