One of President Donald Trump’s favored coronavirus advisers who sparked controversy over his comments against masking and other issues has resigned, US media reported on Monday.
Fox News received the letter of resignation dated December 1 for Scott Atlas, who lacked relevant experience or qualifications in public health or infectious disease.
The outlet also reported that Atlas’ contract would expire later this week.
“I am writing to resign from my position as Special Adviser to the President of the United States,” Atlas said in his farewell letter.
He thanked Trump for the honor and wished “all the best” to the upcoming government of President-elect Joe Biden.
“I worked hard with a single focus – to save lives and help Americans through this pandemic,” Atlas said, adding that he “always relied on the latest science and evidence, without any political consideration or influence.”
Atlas attracted controversy for much of his time working for the outgoing president, and his resignation comes with Covid-19 cases rising across the country.
Both the scientific community and the public health community strongly contested his expertise and qualifications for his role.
In October, he tweeted: “Masks work? NO”, despite overwhelming scientific evidence proving the benefit of wearing masks. Twitter hid the message as misinformation.
He also gave an interview to the Russian state-controlled television channel RT, during which he downplayed the seriousness of the American coronavirus spread.
In November, he called on the people of Michigan to “step up” to Covid-19 measures, such as blockades to slow down the spread of the virus, rather than engage in all efforts to combat the pandemic.
As of Monday night, the United States had registered 13,522,247 cases of coronavirus and 267,844 deaths, both by far the worst tolls in the world.