With his term about to end, President Donald Trump’s special advisor on coronavirus Dr. Scott Atlas resigns his post. As a special government employee, his 130-day tenure expires later this week. As such, he submitted his resignation on December 1, just before his term expires.
In his resignation letter obtained by Fox News, Atlas lauded the Trump administration. Specifically, he praised their accomplishments in containing the coronavirus pandemic. Also, he thanked Trump for the “honor and privilege to serve on behalf of the American people.”
‘Without any political consideration or influence’
Atlas also brushed off any notion that he played politics during his stint. “I worked hard with a singular focus—to save lives and help Americans through this pandemic,” he wrote. Additionally, he said that he “always relied on the latest science and evidence, without any political consideration or influence.”
“As time went on, like all scientists and health policy scholars, I learned new information and synthesized the latest data from around the world, all in an effort to provide you with the best information to serve the greater public good,” Atlas wrote. “But, perhaps more than anything, my advice was always focused on minimizing all the harms from both the pandemic and the structural policies themselves, especially to the working class and the poor.”
CNN reported the current Coronavirus Task Force welcomed Atlas’ resignation. Atlas made extensive comments on the virus even if he is not an immunologist. His views often contradicted those of the Task Force and other public health experts. Also, his opinions closely resemble Trump’s public comments on the virus. For example, he pushed for school re-openings even in the middle of the pandemic.
Twitter had to remove Atlas’s post in one instance, as it questioned the importance of wearing a mask. Twitter invoked its right to remove the message. The social media company claimed Atlas sought to downplay the importance of masks. As such, his statement violated Twitter’s Covid-19 Misleading Information Policy. Atlas also criticized coronavirus measures in Michigan as being too restrictive. He urged residents to “rise up” against the measures.
Hoover Institute Fellow
Stanford University, home to the Hoover Institute, took pains to distance itself. Last September, 78 of his former colleagues signed an open letter criticizing Atlas. They claimed he made “falsehoods and misrepresentations ” that “run counter to established science.” The letter also said Atlas's ideas “undermine public health authorities and the credible science that guides effective public health policy.” As a result of the open letter, Atlas threatened to sue his Stanford colleagues. Some faculty members celebrated when Scott Atlas resigned from the Trump administration. They added that it's “long overdue and underscores the triumph of science and truth over falsehoods and misinformation.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, often disagreed with Atlas. Fauci publicly disagreed with Atlas’s suggestion. “I totally disagree with it, and I made no secret of that, Fauci said. “I don't want to say anything against Dr. Atlas as a person but I totally disagree with the stand he takes. I just do, period,” he added.
Throughout his tenure, Atlas insisted that lockdowns are extremely harmful to Americans. He pointed out the dangers of prolonged lockdowns to families. He said they “create massive physical health losses and psychological distress, destroy families and damage our children.” He claimed the virus poses a relatively low risk for children. Consequently, he thinks school closures are more damaging to them.
Atlas defended his stand to his critics. He said, “it is the free exchange of ideas that lead to scientific truths, which are the very foundation of a civilized society.”
Biden Task Force
Also, Atlas wished the incoming Biden task force well as they take over. “I sincerely wish the new team all the best as they guide the nation through these trying, polarized times,” he wrote. In addition, Atlas said, “With the emerging treatments and vaccines, I remain highly optimistic that America will thrive once again and overcome the adversity of the pandemic and all that it has entailed.”
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Given their contributions in managing coronavirus, who do you listen to more, Dr. Atlas or Dr. Fauci? Let us know who you think deserves your attention more? Let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts in the comment section below.