Biden Covid advisor on the resignation of Dr. Atlas: “I am relieved” as a result of he did not qualify
Dr. Coveline Gounder, a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s Covid Advisory Board, told CNBC she was “relieved” to hear the news that President Donald Trump’s special advisor on the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Scott Atlas, officially resigned from office.
“I am relieved that in the future qualified people, infectious disease specialists and epidemiologists like myself will be helping to lead this effort, people who are experts in the field,” Gounder said in an interview Monday evening on The News with Shepard Smith. “” You wouldn’t go to a podiatrist for a heart attack and that’s exactly what happened.
Atlas specializes in neuroradiology and has no background in infectious diseases. After repeatedly pushing for schools to reopen and questioning the effectiveness of masks, dozens of researchers and doctors at Stanford Medical called their former colleagues. They claimed Atlas was spreading “falsehoods and misrepresentations of science”.
In his resignation letter, Atlas said he “always relied on the latest scientific knowledge and knowledge” and “synthesized the latest data” when he learned new information.
“While some disagree with these recommendations, it is the free exchange of ideas that leads to the scientific truths that underpin any civilized society,” he wrote.
Atlas’ resignation comes as coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country. The United States averaged more than 162,000 cases per day for the past week, and more than 4.2 million new cases have been reported this month alone. Almost a third of all cases in the country were added in November, according to a CNBC analysis of the Johns Hopkins data.
According to Gounder, an epidemiologist at NYU, the Trump administration’s guidelines differ significantly from those of the new Biden administration, particularly when it comes to masks and testing.
“Unfortunately wearing masks has been politicized where it is really just a basic hygiene measure, like using toilet paper that should never have become a political symbol,” said Gounder. “As for testing, the current administration has actively stopped people from being tested and has said that we are being tested too much.”
In June, Trump told supporters at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that increased testing is leading to more cases of the virus being counted.
“If you test to that extent, you’ll find more people, you’ll find more cases,” Trump said. “So I said to my people, ‘Please slow down the tests.’ They test and test them. “
Hospitals across the country are struggling with the surge in some cases. More than 93,000 Americans are hospitalized with Covid-19 – an all-time high according to the Covid Tracking Project.
Gounder said the Biden government will initially focus on the location of vaccination sites to ensure that blacks and minorities have an equal chance of getting an approved Covid vaccine.
“For example, when testing, we saw fewer test sites in color communities, the lines were longer, the lead times were longer,” explained Gounder. “So really make sure we work with vendors who care for these communities to make sure they get access to the vaccine.”