US President Donald Trump’s controversial special adviser on the coronavirus, Scott Atlas, has resigned.
Dr. Scott Atlas was skeptical of measures to control the coronavirus outbreak. He joined the White House earlier this year, where he clashed with top government scientists, including Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, as he resisted stronger efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 267,000 Americans.
A White House official confirmed that the Stanford University neuroradiologist, who had no formal experience in public health or infectious diseases, resigned at the end of his temporary government assignment.
Atlas has broken with government experts and the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community to criticize efforts to encourage face covering to slow the spread of the virus.
He sparked further controversy last month when he tweeted “people rise up” in response to new restrictions imposed in Michigan.
His tweet came just weeks after it emerged the state’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, was the subject of an alleged kidnapping attempt by militia members opposed to virus mitigation efforts.
Fauci had accused Atlas of giving President Trump misleading information about the spread of the virus.
Academics at Stanford University welcomed Dr Atlas’ resignation, saying it was “long overdue and underscores the triumph of science and truth over falsehoods and misinformation”.
In his resignation letter, carried by US network Fox, he said his advice had “always focused on minimising all the harms from both the pandemic and the structural policies themselves, especially to the working class and poor”