Twitter blocked a post from top White House coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas on Sunday that questioned the use of masks as a means of curbing the spread of the illness.
Atlas, who joined the White House in August, wrote, “Masks work? NO,” while adding that the widespread use of face coverings is not supported by evidence.
“Masks work? NO: LA, Miami, Hawaii, Alabama, France, Phlippines, 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,” the top doctor wrote.
A spokesperson for the social media company told the Associated Press that the tweet violated its policy of sharing false or misleading information about the coronavirus that could lead to harm.
Atlas, the former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center, said Twitter’s action amounted to censorship.
“I don’t understand why the tweets were deleted,” Atlas said in an email to the wire service.
He said his post meant to show that “general population masks and mask mandates do not work” and pointed out that they should be used when people cannot socially distance.
Despite mask mandates, coronavirus cases exploded in Los Angeles County, Miami-Dade County, Hawaii, Alabama, the Philippines and Japan.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend people wear masks in public settings like grocery stores, pharmacies, where social distancing is difficult because infected people who do not show symptoms of the disease can still be contagious.