Scott Atlas resigns as Trump’s pandemic adviser after controversial tenure | US news

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Scott Atlas has resigned as special adviser to Donald Trump, a White House official said on Monday, after a controversial four months during which he attacked science-based public health measures and clashed repeatedly with other members of the coronavirus taskforce.

“I am writing to resign from my position as Special Advisor to the President of the United States,” Atlas said in a letter to Trump dated 1 December, according to Fox News, which first reported his resignation.

Atlas is a neuroradiologist and fellow at Stanford’s rightwing Hoover Institution, where he works on healthcare policy. He has no expertise or experience in infectious diseases or epidemiology.

He was nevertheless selected by Trump to advise the president on the pandemic. Atlas repeatedly downplayed the threat of the virus, which has killed more than 250,000 Americans, and attacked public health measures such as masks, stay-at-home orders and social distancing. He called on residents of Michigan to “rise up” against restrictions put in place by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who had been the target of a kidnapping plot, leading to calls for his firing.

He also promoted the idea that the US should aim to achieve “herd immunity”, a so-called strategy that would probably result in millions of deaths, and was repeatedly rebuked by public health and infectious disease experts, in addition to Stanford University and the Stanford faculty senate.

Atlas has been sharply criticized by public health experts, including Anthony Fauci, the leading US infectious disease expert, for providing Trump with misleading or incorrect information on the virus pandemic.

He has downplayed the importance of face masks and this month said lockdowns had been “an epic failure” in stopping the virus’s spread.

More details soon …

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Scott Atlas resigns as Trump’s pandemic adviser after controversial tenure | US news

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