Louis-Armstrong

Trump’s virus czar resigned, drawing cheers from health officials who say his ideas are dangerous.

President Trump’s coronavirus czar, Dr. Scott W. Atlas, who has had a leading role in the White House’s efforts to play down the virus and politicize efforts to curb its spread, resigned on Monday from a position that was set to expire this week.

Dr. Atlas, a radiologist, was heavily criticized by many health experts as his guidance on key issues — including the wearing of masks — conflicted with guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has also been widely criticized for his support for allowing the virus to spread in order to achieve herd immunity — a point when transmission of the virus stalls because so many people have either previously had it or have been vaccinated for it.

Allowing the virus to spread unchecked in an effort to achieve herd immunity could lead to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of additional deaths.

Currently, more than 13 million Americans — 4 percent of the population — have been confirmed to have had the virus. Experts say 70 percent of the population would need to either have had the virus or have been vaccinated for it to achieve herd immunity status.

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