Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns
Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.
Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.
The big picture: As a special government employee, Atlas was set to serve a 130-day period that expires this week. The administration's attention on Operation Warp Speed, which is outside of Atlas’ remit, has also reduced his role.
- Since he joined the task force in August, Atlas has aligned himself with Trump in downplaying the impact of COVID-19. Trump touted Atlas’ guidance to justify his anti-lockdown stance.
- But Atlas faced backlash for dismissing schools’ concerns about reopening as “hysteria.” He also pushed to resume college sports activities.
- Atlas has not attended coronavirus task force meetings in recent weeks.
What they're saying: CDC director Robert Redfield has criticized Atlas repeatedly and told a colleague "everything he says is false."
- In October, Twitter removed a tweet from Atlas that belittled the importance of face masks, per CNN.
- Atlas maintained his position on Fox News later on Monday, telling Tucker Carlson the U.S. needs to resume in-person schooling “ASAP," and that science has been politicized.