October 18, 2020
Dr. Scott Atlas, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, had one of his tweets removed by Twitter on Sunday. The tweet in question, had Atlas claiming that face masks don’t prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Atlas, who is a neuroradiologist and health care policy expert, wrote on Saturday: “Masks work? NO: LA, Miami, Hawaii, Alabama, France, Phlippnes, UK, Spain, Israel. WHO:’widesprd use not supported’ + many harms; Heneghan/Oxf CEBM:’despite decades, considerble uncertainty re value’; CDC rvw May:”no sig red’n in inflnz transm’n”; learn why.”
Atlas, who is a Hoover Institution Senior Fellow, also shared a link to an article in “The American Institute for Economic Research” that argues against the effectiveness of face masks against coronavirus.
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 purpose – when close to others, especially hi risk. Otherwise, social distance. No widespread mandates. #CommonSense.”
Twitter stated that the tweet violated the social media company’s rules on disputed or misleading information: “If we determine a Tweet contains misleading or disputed information that could lead to harm, we may add a label to the content to provide context.”
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 told Newsweek that “he didn’t understand why Twitter had deleted his tweet, which included abbreviated citations of multiple sources, some months old, on the effectiveness of widespread mask wearing.”
“Twitter seems to be censoring the science if it goes against their own goals of public indoctrination,” Atlas said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear face masks to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
“We are not defenseless against COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”
The removal of Atlas’ post comes a week after Twitter flagged one of President Donald Trump’s tweets about COVID-19. Twitter censored the president because he declared that he is “immune” to COVID-19.
“A total and complete sign off from White House Doctors yesterday,” Trump wrote. “That means I can’t get it (immune), and can’t give it. Very nice to know!”
Twitter also locked the official account of the New York Post after the paper published an article that featured alleged emails from Hunter Biden regarding his reported overseas dealings. The New York Post’s Twitter account appeared to be still locked as of early Sunday afternoon.
Previously, Atlas caused a stir in July when he told Glenn Beck, “There is zero science to back up claims that the schools should be closed or even opened with any constraints whatsoever.”
“Frankly, one of the most egregious failures of the policy people is, not just allow[ing] fear to infiltrate their own thinking and do lockdowns, which are severely harmful,” Atlas told Beck. “But secondly, they have failed to reassure the public about the facts, and about the relative risk here. It’s a very serious dangerous disease — for a group of people. And we know who those people are. They are high-risk, elderly people with comorbidities. Everyone else, it’s not a high-risk disease.”