President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 advisor, Scott Atlas, has resigned from the White House coronavirus task force, saying it was an “honour” to serve in the position during “these difficult months for [the United States]”.
Atlas penned a resignation letter to President Trump, dated 1 December, and later posted the contents of the letter on Twitter.
— Scott W. Atlas (@ScottWAtlas) December 1, 2020
Atlas’ resignation caps off an incredibly tumultuous tenure in the position for Atlas, who garnered a significant amount of attention through questionable policy decisions. As a special government employee, he was only eligible to serve a 130 day detail, making his resignation largely inconsequential, given that it comes just days before his tenure was set to expire.
The termination of his detail will come into effect on Tuesday. In his letter, Atlas explained that his intent when he took on the role was to save American lives while providing the Trump administration with up to date and reliable information.
“I worked hard with a singular focus—to save lives and help Americans through this pandemic,” he wrote in a story first reported on by FOX News. “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,” he 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.”
Several White House coronavirus task force members raised questions about Atlas or openly disputed his views, as reported by The Hill
CDC Director Robert Redfield was overheard mocking Atlas on a flight; White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx confronted Vice President Pence about Atlas’s increasing influence; and Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, said earlier this month he “totally” disagreed with Atlas’s views.
Donald Trump has effectively given no attention to the COVID-19 pandemic since losing the 2020 Presidential election to Joe Biden. Therefore, Trump’s COVID-19 Advisor Scott Atlas resigning is largely inconsequential, but good news for the Biden administration who will want to hit the ground running when their efforts to tackle the pandemic begins. A continuation of Atlas’ policies would likely serve to entrench the United States deeper into the devastation of the pandemic