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Nov. 30, 2020, 10:28 p.m. EST

Dr. Scott Atlas resigns as Trump’s coronavirus adviser

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By Mike Murphy

Dr. Scott Atlas, the most controversial White House coronavirus adviser, resigned from his post late Monday.

Fox News first reported his departure. Atlas confirmed it later with a tweet that included his resignation letter, dated Dec. 1. “Honored to have served @realDonaldTrump and the American people during these difficult times,” he said.

Atlas was serving as a coronavirus adviser to President Donald Trump on a 130-day Special Government Employee detail, which was due to expire at the end of this week, Fox News reported . Trump appointed him in August.

Atlas, a radiologist with no previous experience in infectious diseases, has had Trump’s ear in recent months. He has been an outspoken critic of lockdowns and a supporter of a “herd immunity” strategy, and earlier this month was sharply criticized after tweeting that Michigan should “rise up” against coronavirus restrictions.

He was also assailed by many health experts for spreading misinformation. In October, Twitter Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR -1.33% blocked one of his tweets that falsely claimed face masks were ineffective at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Numerous studies have debunked that, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stressed the importance of wearing masks .

“I have real problems with that guy,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Washington Post earlier this month. “He’s a smart guy who’s talking about things that I believe he doesn’t have any real insight or knowledge or experience in. He keeps talking about things that when you dissect it out and parse it out, it doesn’t make any sense.”

In September, CDC Director Robert Redfield was overheard by a reporter saying of Atlas: “Everything he says is false.”

Atlas, a Hoover Institution fellow, was also condemned by Stanford University colleagues, with one faculty member calling him “an embarrassment to the university” in a November resolution.

“Dr. Scott Atlas’ resignation today is long overdue and underscores the triumph of science and truth over falsehoods and misinformation,” the same Stanford faculty said Monday in a joint statement .

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