US Covid response in chaos as controversial Trump pandemic adviser Atlas resigns – live updates | US news

Some of Dr. Atlas’s Trump administration colleagues would most likely contradict that assessment, citing views starkly different from those put forth by officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by other government scientists. Dr. Atlas has argued, for example, that the science of mask wearing is uncertain and that children cannot spread the coronavirus.

Even more contentious was his libertarian vision of the role of the government in the pandemic. In Dr. Atlas’s view, the government’s job was not to stamp out the virus but simply to protect its most vulnerable citizens as Covid-19 took its course.

Dr. Atlas also railed against anything that smacked of a lockdown or business closure. “Protect the high-risk; open schools, society,” he tweeted in October. “Alternative? Confine healthy people, restrict business, close schools…kills people, destroys families, sacrifices kids. #RationalThinking.”

Public health experts were appalled and warned that his ideas were dangerous and would have disastrous results.

But that did not stop Dr. Atlas. In mid-November, he called on people in Michigan to “rise up” against coronavirus restrictions. The state’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, who had faced death threats and a thwarted kidnapping attempt over the restrictions, denounced him as “incredibly reckless.”

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