Twitter blocks Scott Atlas tweet on masks

Elias Hubbard
October 19, 2020

Dr. Scott Atlas, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, had one of his tweets removed by Twitter on Sunday.

"Later Sunday, Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services and coordinator of the Trump administration's testing response, tweeted "#Masks work?

In the original tweet, Atlas wrote, "Masks work? NO", and said widespread use of masks is not supported, according to the Associated Press.

The "This Tweet is unavailable" label was put on Atlas' Twitter feed where his tweet once was.

Atlas quote-tweeted his original post with a follow-up post that read: "That means the right policy is @realDonaldTrump guideline: use masks for their intended goal - when close to others, especially hi risk. Otherwise, social distance. No widespread mandates".

According to a company spokesperson, Atlas's tweet was in violation of this policy, Newsweek reported.

"Masks work? NO", Atlas, one of President Donald Trump's closest medical advisers, tweeted Saturday with a link to an article in the American Institute for Economic Research that argues that masks are ineffective.

Twitter hid a tweet from the Team Trump campaign account with the same video, and banned it from tweeting. Some congressional leaders accuse Twitter, Facebook and other internet companies of bias and say they are unfairly limiting speech close to the USA election.

Twitter has also censored false and misleading claims made by Trump about the coronavirus on the microblogging website.

Twitter's official blog from May defines "misleading information" as "statements or assertions that have been confirmed to be false or misleading by subject-matter experts, such as public health authorities".

Atlas' statement also goes against the guidelines laid down by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends people wear masks in public settings, especially when other physical distancing measures are hard to maintain.

Atlas was brought onto the White House coronavirus task force in August and has become a Trump favorite after appearances on Fox News and other conservative outlets where he downplayed the risk of the virus to anyone but the old and frail.

Atlas is a neuroradiologist with no epidemiology background affiliated with Stanford University's conservative Hoover Institution. He is reportedly helping to shape the White House policies about how to handle the virus, including policies about masks and other issues.

"I don't understand why the tweets were deleted", Atlas said in an email, calling Twitter's actions censorship.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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