Scott Atlas, Trump’s coronavirus adviser, undermines importance of masks as cases rise

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Atlas wrote in a tweet, “Do the masks work? NO ”, followed by a series of misrepresentations about the science behind the effectiveness of masks in the fight against the pandemic. The tweet refers to an article by the American Institute for Economic Research which argues, among other things, against the effectiveness of masks.

The message pushed by the controversial neuroradiologist goes against advice from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends that people wear masks in public places and when surrounded by people who are not living in their homes, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Previous guidelines from U.S. officials did not recommend blanket masking, but in April, the CDC recommended face masks for the general public, given that people without symptoms could transmit the virus without knowing it.

The main purpose of masks is to prevent people with the virus from infecting others.

Atlas’s tweet echoes President Donald Trump’s misleading claims about masks even as the United States grapples with grim new spikes in cases. A federal official told CNN last month that CDC director Dr Robert Redfield was concerned Atlas was providing Trump with misleading information about Covid-19.

Ten states reported their highest number of new Covid-19 infections in a single day on Friday, as experts say a dangerous fall wave of coronavirus infections is well underway.

In total, the United States reported more than 69,100 new Covid-19 infections on Friday – the most in a single day since around 71,300 were reported on July 29, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Unlike government medical experts who advised Trump in the early months of the pandemic, Atlas has taken a public stance on the virus much closer to that of the president – including decrying the idea that schools cannot reopen this fall. as “hysteria” and pushing for the resumption of college sports.

“He’s working with us and will be working with us on the coronavirus,” Trump said in August. “And he has a lot of great ideas. And he thinks that what we’ve done is really good, and now we’re going to take it to a new level.

CNN’s Lindy Royce contributed to this report.

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