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

October 18, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Scott Atlas sought to undermine the importance of face masks on Saturday as coronavirus cases spike across the US.

(CNN)White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Scott Atlas sought to undermine the importance of face masks on Saturday as coronavirus cases spike across the US.

Atlas wrote in a tweet, "Masks work?

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.

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.

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