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Scott Atlas resigns as Trump coronavirus adviser

Dr. Scott Atlas expressed skepticism of mask-wearing and other measures widely accepted by the scientific community.

Dr. Scott Atlas, who has echoed some of President Donald Trump's thoughts on handling the coronavirus while rejecting some held by the scientific community, has resigned as a top coronavirus adviser to Trump.

Fox News reports that Atlas joined the Trump administration in August as a Special Government Employee. He was on a 130-day detail, which expires this week.

Atlas said in his resignation letter that he wished "all the best" to the incoming coronavirus advisory team, without specifically mentioning President-elect Joe Biden.

Atlas earned himself a White House appointment by echoing Trump’s skepticism of mask-wearing and other measures widely accepted by most scientists to slow the spread of the virus. Atlas has long been a critic of coronavirus lockdowns and has campaigned for kids to return to the classroom and for the return of college sports.

Credit: AP
White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas speaks at the White House, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In his resignation letter, posted on Twitter, Atlas said his goals were to provide the best information and "minimizing all the harms from both the pandemic and the structural policies themselves, especially to the working class and the poor.”

Atlas, the former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center and a fellow at Stanford’s conservative Hoover Institution, has no expertise in public health or infectious diseases.

Atlas came under fire earlier this month when he urged people to “rise up” after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced closures to some schools and businesses in the face of the latest wave of cases. He was accused of trying to endorse violence, something Atlas vehemently denied.

Atlas is on leave from serving as a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. The university released a statement about Atlas this month, saying it supports measures touted by the scientific community at large and supports following state and local health guidance.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.