The president of the TechFreedom think tank, backed by GOP billionaire Charles Koch and tech giant Google, Berin Szóka, has stepped down from his post and will take an indefinite sabbatical to work on a book devoted to tech policy, Politico reported.
The think tank, which actively lobbies Capitol Hill against increased regulation over tech companies, will now reportedly be led by internet policy analyst Shane Tews.
Szóka's reported resignation comes hot on the heels of a scandal around a now-deleted tweet from 9 March, in which he suggested that it would be "poetic justice" if US President Donald Trump were to die of a coronavirus infection. Szóka in his tweet was referring to a Conservative Political Action Conference that Trump attended, along with an unnamed person who later tested positive for COVID-19.
Earlier this week, I sent a thoughtless tweet making an inappropriate comment about the President that I deeply regret. I was wrong to tweet it and deleted it. Again, I apologize.— Berin Szóka 🌐 (@BerinSzoka) March 12, 2020
The former head of the think tank later tweeted an apology for his earlier tweet, characterizing it as "thoughtless and inappropriate" and offering that he has a "personal flaw" for being "needlessly provocative, blunt or impolite".
Criticism of Trump's Coronavirus Policies
POTUS has repeatedly faced criticism over allegations that his reponse to the coronavirus has been woefully inadequate, despite issuing funds to combat infection and establishing a team led by Vice President Mike Pence to combat the epidemic. Trump was also lambasted for refusing to personally take the coronavirus test despite being in contact with known COVID-19 carriers. Trump took the test on 14 March without explaining why he changed his stance on the issue and the results were reported to be negative.
Recently, Trump also extended measures directed at combating the epidemic by declaring a national emergency after the virus has continued to spread in the US despite initial measures to prevent it. According to the latest data, over 3,200 people have contracted COVID-19 in the US and 58 have died.