US President Trump's special adviser on coronavirus resigns

Dr Scott Atlas has warned against shifting to lockdowns throughout his tenure.

Published: 01st December 2020 05:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st December 2020 05:34 PM   |  A+A-

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump (Photo | AP)


WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump's special adviser on the coronavirus pandemic, Dr Scott Atlas, on Monday formally resigned.

Atlas had joined the Trump administration in August and was considered a Special Government Employee (SGE), serving a 130-day detail. His term was set to expire this week, Fox News reported.

"I am writing to resign from my position as Special Advisor to the President of the United States," Atlas said, thanking Trump for "the honour and privilege to serve on behalf of the American people," Fox News quoted his resignation letter.

"I worked hard with a singular focus to save lives and help Americans through this pandemic," Atlas wrote, adding 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 minimising all the harms from both the pandemic and the structural policies themselves, especially to the working class and the poor," he said.

Atlas, who had been criticised throughout his tenure for calling for a reopening, and saying that lockdowns are "extremely harmful" to Americans, said that "although some may disagree with those recommendations, it is the free exchange of ideas that lead to scientific truths, which are the very foundation of a civilized society," Fox News quoted Atlas' letter.

Atlas pointed to their efforts in increasing and prioritising "extra personal protective equipment and tens of millions of extra tests to nursing and assisted living facilities," as well as implementing "more frequent monitoring updates using clinical guidelines to intensify testing," and instituting outreach to independent seniors in communities.

He has warned against shifting to lockdowns throughout his tenure. He said they "identified and illuminated early on the harms of prolonged lockdowns, including that they create massive physical health losses and psychological distress, destroy families and damage our children."

"And more and more, the relatively low risk to children of serious harms from the infection, the less frequent spread from children. The presence of immunologic protection beyond that shown by antibody testing, and the severe harms from closing schools and society are all being acknowledged," Atlas added.

"I sincerely wish the new team all the best as they guide the nation through these trying, polarized times," Atlas wrote. "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."

Although election officials have already certified Biden's victory, US President Donald Trump continues to question the legitimacy of his win, alleging fraud and impropriety in the elections.


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