US President Donald Trump’s controversial special adviser on the coronavirus, Scott Atlas, has resigned.
Thanking Mr Trump for the honour of serving the American people, Dr Atlas said he had “always relied on the latest science and evidence without any political consideration or influence”.
During his four months in the role, Dr Atlas questioned the need for masks and other measures to control the pandemic.
He also repeatedly clashed with other members of the coronavirus task force.
The radiologist and senior fellow at Stanford University’s conservative Hoover Institution joined the task force in August. As well as questioning the usefulness of masks he was against lockdowns and promoted the idea of herd immunity.
Public health experts such as Dr Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had accused Dr Atlas of giving President Trump false and misleading information about the spread of the virus.
Academics at his own university strongly criticised him for promoting a view of Covid-19 that they said contradicted medical science. They welcomed his resignation, saying it was “long overdue and underscores the triumph of science and truth over falsehoods and misinformation”.
In his resignation letter, carried by Fox, Dr Atlas said his advice had always focused on minimizing all the harms from both the pandemic and the structural policies themselves, especially to the working class and poor.