Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.
Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on conspiracy theories about election fraud, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.
The big picture: As a special government employee, Atlas was set to serve a 130-day period that expires this week. The administration's attention on Operation Warp Speed, which is outside of Atlas’ remit, has also reduced his role.
- Since he joined the taskforce in August, Atlas has aligned himself with Trump in downplaying the impact of COVID-19. Trump touted Atlas’ guidance to justify his anti-lockdown stance.
- But Atlas faced backlash for dismissing schools’ concerns about reopening as “hysteria.” He also pushed to resume college sports activities.
- Atlas has not attended coronavirus taskforce meetings in recent weeks.
What they're saying: CDC Director Robert Redfield has criticized Atlas repeatedly and told a colleague "everything he says is false."
- In October, Twitter removed a tweet from Atlas that belittled the importance of face masks, per CNN.
- Atlas maintained his position on Fox News later on Monday, telling Tucker Carlson the U.S. needs to resume in-person schooling “ASAP" and that science has been politicized.