President Trump’s special adviser on coronavirus issues has reportedly resigned from his post.
Dr. Scott Atlas, whose employment status was set to expire this week anyway, sent a note dated Dec. 1 to Mr. Trump, Fox News reported.
In the note, Dr. Atlas thanked Mr. Trump for “the honor and privilege to serve on behalf of the American people.”
“I worked hard with a singular focus — to save lives and help Americans through this pandemic,” wrote Dr. Atlas, who was often criticized for his skepticism about the value of lockdowns.
He said in his note that “always relied on the latest science and evidence, without any political consideration or influence.”
He defended his skepticism about lockdowns, which cratered the economy and upended social life, by saying that public-health issues should always be open to public debate, a stance not shared in Silicon Valley and large parts of the Democratic Party.
“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,” he said.
Dr. Atlas touted the success of Operation Warp Speed, which already has produced two 90% effective vaccines in a matter of months, and wished the best to the incoming administration of presumed President-elect Joseph R. Biden in building on those and other Trump administration successes.
“I sincerely wish the new team all the best as they guide the nation through these trying, polarized times,” he 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.”