News and Commentary

Dr. Scott Atlas Resigns As Trump’s Coronavirus Adviser
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 12: White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas, speaks during a TV interview with OAN on October 12, 2020 in Washington, DC
Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Dr. Scott Atlas announced on Monday that he was resigning from his role on the Trump administration’s Coronavirus Task Force after serving on a 130-day Special Government Employee detail.

“I am writing to resign from my position as Special Advisor to the President of the United States. I thank you for the honor and privilege to serve on behalf of the American people since August, during these difficult months for our nation,” Atlas wrote. “I worked hard with a singular focus – to save lives and help Americans through this pandemic. As you know, I 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 said that the guidance that he provided to the administration was always centered around minimizing the damage from the pandemic and the policies were developed in response to the pandemic. He said that he especially kept working class people and the poor in mind as he developed a coronavirus response.

“These views were in agreement with those of many of the world’s top epidemiologists and medical scientists from Harvard, Oxford, and other top academic institutions, as well as with those of thousands of medical and public health scientists from around the world,” Atlas continued. “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 any civilized society. Indeed, I cannot think of a time where safeguarding science and the scientific debate is more urgent.”

Atlas praised the administration for its work in trying to reopen schools and open other aspects of society. He specifically highlighted the administration’s allocation of resources to the most vulnerable and its commitment to improving guidelines and developing new strategies.

“We also 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,” he continued. “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.”

“Mr. President, your Operation Warp Speed team delivered on our promised timelines for new drugs and vaccines. I congratulate you for your vision, and also congratulate the many who did the exemplary work – we know who they are, even though their names are not those familiar to the public,” he concluded. “I sincerely wish the new team all the best as they guide the nation through these trying, polarized times. 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.”

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