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Trump’s Controversial COVID-19 Adviser, Scott Atlas resigns

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The controversial COVID-19 adviser to the United State President, Donald Trump, Scott Atlas has resigned on Monday, after serving for four months during which he clashed repeatedly with other members of the Covid-19 task force.

Atlas stated in a letter to Trump dated December 1, that he posted on Twitter, “I am writing to resign from my position as Special Advisor to the president of the United States”.

In his resignation letter, Atlas affirmed that he “always relied on the latest science and evidence, without any political consideration or influence” and maintained that he was concentrated on “minimizing all the harms from both the pandemic and the structural policies themselves, especially to the working class and the poor”.

Atlas, a neuroradiologist with no expertise in infectious diseases or epidemiology, was appointed in August on a special 130-day contract.

In November, he said lockdowns had been “an epic failure” in stopping the spread of the virus. Also in October, Twitter removed a post in which he downplayed the importance of masks.

He has been sharply criticised by public health experts, including Dr Anthony Fauci, the leading infectious diseases expert in the US, for providing Trump with misleading or incorrect information on the virus pandemic and has downplayed the importance of face masks and social distancing.

Atlas resigned as hopes rose for the first wave of vaccinations before the end of the year after US firm Moderna said it was filing for emergency authorization of its vaccine in the United States and Europe.

After top US scientists cautioned Americans to brace for a “surge superimposed on the surge,” Moderna reported full results had confirmed a high efficacy estimated at 94.1 percent.

It was set to join American pharmaceutical maker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, which applied for similar approvals last week, and have predicted their vaccine could be greenlit in the US shortly after December 10.

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