Doctors and health experts celebrated Dr. Scott Atlas’ resignation as the President’s COVID-19 adviser on Monday, suggesting that Atlas’ controversial takes on the pandemic response had contributed to a mounting coronavirus-related death toll in the United States that has now reached roughly 268,000.
President Donald Trump had tapped Atlas as an adviser on the pandemic in August after he emerged repeatedly on Fox News as a kind of celebrity scientist. A radiologist, who now serves as a senior fellow at a libertarian-leaning think tank at Stanford University, Atlas suggested in his resignation letter on Monday that he had “always relied on the latest science and evidence, without any political consideration or influence.”
Yet many experts have pointed out that the Hoover Institute fellow, whose own academic home distanced itself from his bogus claims, has no formal background in infectious disease — typically a requirement for a scientist serving in a capacity to provide advising on pandemic response.
Atlas’ resignation, which he posted to Twitter on Monday night, was promptly met by ridicule from colleagues in the scientific community who celebrated his departure:
No single physician did more to harm Americans in such a brief period of time as @ScottWAtlas has.
His disgrace will be for all time.
— Jeremy Faust MD MS (ER physician) (@jeremyfaust) December 1, 2020
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) December 1, 2020
Scott Atlas resignation from @WhiteHouse comes not a moment too soon
His time was marred by barrage of misinformation, from promoting anti-mask quackery to falsehoods about testing
He repeatedly tweeted disingenuous "data" & promoted widespread infections as a strategy
— Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH (@ashishkjha) December 1, 2020
One of the greatest acts of medical malpractice in history by a single person.
— Peter Puthenveetil, MD (@pjputh) December 1, 2020
1/5: I’ve severely criticized Dr Atlas since his appointment, but make no mistake he was only one of several mouthpieces for a far reaching and deliberate antiscience disinformation initiative led by the White House https://t.co/BaTnTvworb
— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) December 1, 2020
See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya.
— Megan Ranney MD MPH 🗽 (@meganranney) December 1, 2020
The harm you have done cheerleading for decreased mask compliance and relentless, economically driven reopening has killed thousands of Americans. I do not know if you can ever atone, but I think you had better start.
— Josh sighed in relief Gentges (@jgentgesdo) December 1, 2020
Dr. Scott Atlas shows that anyone can finish medical school and residency as long as they kiss enough ass, never question anything, and blindly follow orders from those in power. Our medical education system in America rewards obedience over moral principles and patient care.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) December 1, 2020