Twitter Inc. on Sunday blocked a message from Dr Scott Atlas, one of President Donald Trump’s top health advisers, after claiming that face masks were ineffective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
“Do the masks work? NO, ”he tweeted on Sunday, followed by a thread of messages that distort scientific findings on masks.
blocked the publication citing a violation of his politics against sharing false or harmful information.
Atlas’s tweet also contradicts official guidelines from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends wearing a mask outside of one’s home. Health experts widely agree that wearing masks is the easiest and most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 until a vaccine is developed.
Atlas, a Stanford radiologist with no experience in infectious diseases, joined the White House coronavirus task force in August. He has been a staunch supporter of Trump and opposes lockdowns in favor of pursuing a herd immunity strategy.
Also on Sunday, infectious disease expert Dr Michael Osterholm told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Atlas’ herd immunity theory “is the most amazing combination of pixie dust and pseudoscience that I have never seen. Osterholm said herd immunity required 50% to 70% of the population to be infected – far more than Atlas claims – which would likely cause tens of thousands of preventable deaths.
Others also rejected Atlas. Last month, CDC Director Robert Redfield was overheard on a phone call from Atlas saying, “Everything he says is wrong.”
More than 70,000 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the United States on Friday, and experts warn of a next wave of cases as winter arrives. To date, more than 219,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.