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 say a dangerous fall surge of coronavirus infections is well underway.

In all, the US reported more than 69,100 new Covid-19 infections Friday — the most in a single day since about 71,300 were reported on July 29, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Unlike the government’s medical experts who advised Trump in the early months of the pandemic, Atlas has adopted a public stance on the virus much closer to the President’s — 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 many great ideas. And he thinks what we’ve done is really good, and now we’ll take it to a new level.”

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