President Donald Trump's special advisor on the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Scott Atlas, has resigned.
In his resignation letter from Fox News, Atlas said he worked hard to "save lives and help Americans through this pandemic".
He added that he "always relied on the latest scientific knowledge and evidence without political consideration or interference".
"Over time, like all health and policy scientists, I have learned new information and synthesized the latest data from around the world to bring you the best information for the common good," wrote Atlas.
President Donald Trump's special advisor on the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Scott Atlas (pictured in August) has resigned
In his resignation letter from Fox News, Atlas (pictured with Trump in September) said he had worked hard to "save lives and help Americans with this pandemic".
"But perhaps more than anything, my advice has always been to minimize all damage from both the pandemic and structural policies themselves, especially to the working class and the poor," he added.
Atlas was employed for a 130-day term that was due to expire this week.
In the statement, Atlas also wished the incoming Joe Biden administration the best.
"I sincerely wish the new team all the best as they lead the nation through these difficult, polarized times," said Atlas.
"With the treatments and vaccines emerging, I remain very optimistic that America will flourish again and overcome the adversity of the pandemic and all that it brought with it."
On Monday night, Atlas appeared in an interview with Tucker Carlson from Fox News.
The doctor did not mention his resignation, but spoke about how "objective journalism is almost dead" and that "science has become politicized".
Atlas told Carlson that "we are living in an extremely polarizing time".
“You know that as well as anyone. It's an election year. We have social media where people become ballistic and feel empowered to do so. I honestly think there is a serious problem in the country.
"Because there is a bigger problem here, and that is that America and its universities really need to allow the free exchange of ideas without attack, without reprimand and without intimidation," said Atlas.
Atlas has been criticized for calling for states to reopen, saying lockdowns are "extremely harmful to Americans".
He said to Carlson, “It's not that I was right. The point is not that the advice I gave the President was correct. The point is not that the president was right. Although these things are true. The point is we really need to open up in personal schools asap because it is so destructive and harmful. & # 39;
Earlier this month, Atlas came under fire for suggesting that elderly people should invite their elderly relatives to the Thanksgiving festival, as this could potentially be their last.
His harsh advice contradicted that of most public health experts, who advised families not to congregate for fear of the spread of the coronavirus.
Atlas, a neuroradiologist with no public health experience, made the comment when he attacked Fox News bans to "isolate" people.
"That kind of isolation is (also) a tragedy for the elderly who are now being told 'don't see your family on Thanksgiving,'" he told hostess Martha MacCallum at the time.
“Believe it or not, this will be their last Thanksgiving day for many people. We have to have a policy … which is a whole-person policy. It's not just about stopping cases of Covid. & # 39;
His advice contradicted that of Dr. Anthony Fauci, America's best infectious disease advisor since 1984, said people should avoid large gatherings this year – especially those that involve the elderly.
"People should be very careful about social gatherings, especially when family members are at risk because of their age," Fauci said last month.
"You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice this social gathering unless you are fairly certain that the people you are dealing with are not infected."
There are more than 13 million confirmed cases of the virus in the US, with at least 267,600 deaths
Just over a week ago, faculty members at Stanford University voted to condemn Atlas for spreading misinformation about the pandemic.
The Senate of the Stanford Faculty (SFS) announced the vote on a resolution, which was passed with 85 percent approval in a damning statement. Atlas described "actions as" anathema to our values and our belief that we should use knowledge forever ".
"As the Stanford faculty elected, we condemn his behavior in the strongest possible terms," reads a resolution from Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institute.
"It violates the core values of our faculty and the expectations of the Stanford Code of Conduct that we are all" responsible for upholding the high ethical standards of this institution. "
The resolution outlined a number of statements for which Atlas has received significant criticism in the past few weeks – including criticism of bans, preventing the use of masks, and claims that only those at risk should be protected from the virus need.
She accused Atlas of spreading disinformation that not only "contradicts medical science" but also damages Stanford's "reputation and academic standing".
The resolution focused on an incident last week when Atlas urged Michigan residents to stand up against new restrictions imposed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in response to the state's alarming increase in coronavirus cases.
At the head of the indictment convicting Atlas was Dr. David Spiegel of Stanford School of Medicine, who said, “What Atlas has done is an embarrassment for the university.
"He uses his genuine affiliation with Hoover to provide credibility on issues that he cannot discuss professionally."
During the SFS meeting, Condoleezza Rice, the director of the Hoover Institution of Tad and Dianne Taube and former Secretary of State under President George Bush, also criticized Atlas.
Rice said many of Atlas' comments about the pandemic were contrary to the Hoover Institute's beliefs, calling his tweet in Michigan "offensive" and well beyond the limits of what anyone in a position of authority like that would do of him is appropriate holds & # 39 ;.
In October, Twitter removed a "misleading" tweet from Atlas claiming that masks were not working.
In the tweet shared at the time, Atlas wrote, “Do masks work? No. & # 39;
Atlas then used examples of areas where he said "cases exploded even with mandates".
He included the following locations in the tweet: Los Angeles, Miami, Hawaii, Alabama, France, Philippines, UK, Spain, and Israel.
Twitter then removed the tweet, but Atlas responded to the censorship.
“ That means the right guideline is the @ realDonaldTrump guideline: use masks for their intended purpose – when around others, especially if you are at high risk. Otherwise social distance. No widespread mandates. #CommonSense, "wrote Atlas.
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