On Monday, President Trump’s handpicked coronavirus adviser, Dr. Scott Atlas, resigned. Atlas is a former Fox News contributor and neuroradiologist from Stanford’s conservative Hoover Institution with no expertise in epidemiology or infectious disease. Atlas drew condemnation from Stanford’s Faculty Senate. Stanford doctors wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed, “The guidance he is giving to the White House does not reflect sound epidemiological reasoning, nor is it consistent with the current body of scientific knowledge about COVID-19.” President Trump’s personal lawyer responded to the doctors’ letter by threatening to sue them for defamation.
Dr. Atlas has dismissed overwhelming scientific evidence that face masks slow the spread of coronavirus. He’s also pushed a widely discredited strategy of “herd immunity through natural infection” — a policy that public health officials say could result in the deaths of millions more Americans.
Last month, Dr. Atlas called on Michiganders to “rise up” against public health measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 — drawing condemnation from Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who was targeted in an alleged terrorist plot by far-right militia members to overthrow the Michigan government and kidnap her.