Trump coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas undermines importance of masks as cases spike

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Atlas wrote in a tweet, “Masks work? NO” followed by a series of misrepresentations about the science behind the effectiveness of masks in combating the pandemic. The tweet links to an article in the American Institute for Economic Research that argues against the effectiveness of masks, among other things. The message pushed by the controversial neuroradiologist goes against guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends people wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.Earlier guidance from US officials didn’t recommend widespread masking, but in April, the CDC recommended face coverings for the general public given that people without symptoms could unknowingly transmit the virus. Masks are primarily to prevent people who have the virus from infecting others.Atlas’ tweet echoes President Donald Trump’s misleading claims about masks even as the US grapples with grim new spikes in cases. A federal official told CNN last month that CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield is concerned that Atlas is providing Trump with misleading information about Covid-19.Ten states reported their highest single-day tallies of new Covid-19 infections Friday, as experts …

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