Even though several studies have confirmed the benefits of wearing masks to prevent novel Coronavirus transmission, people are still trying to impress their own beliefs upon others and indirectly encourage them to avoid wearing masks.
Recently, White House Coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas claimed in a Tweet that masks don't work to stop the spread of Coronavirus infection. He tweeted that "Masks work? NO," on Saturday, October 17, and also shared an article link, published in the American Institute for Economic Research, that argues against the effectiveness of masks. But Twitter removed it from the platform.
Experts Advise Vs Own Ideas
Since the Coronavirus pandemic hit the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been asking people to wear masks while being in public places, especially when social distancing is not an option. The CDC website clearly states that "Masks help stop the spread of COVID-19 to others."
After the removal of the first misleading tweet, Atlas, who is a neuroradiologist, again tweeted on Saturday, stating that it showed US President Donald Trump's guideline on masks remains the "right policy."
Twitter removed the first tweet as it was violating the platform's Coronavirus misleading information policy—it prohibits sharing false or misleading content related to COVID-19 which could lead to harm. The policy specifically includes guidance on "statements or assertions that have been confirmed to be false or misleading by subject-matter experts, such as public health authorities."
Needless to say, during the pandemic, Trump not only said that the virus would quickly go away but also expressed his skepticism over the effectiveness of face coverings. Initially, he also refused to be photographed while wearing masks and even mocked the former vice president Joe Biden for wearing one.
During the presidential debate, Trump said that he wore masks "when needed," and then claimed that the leading US infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci had initially said that "masks are no good—then he changed his mind." Fauci not only rejected the claim but also clarified that he had long been "begging people to wear masks." However, just a few days after the presidential debate night Trump and the first lady tested positive for the COVID-19, which killed over 219,000 Americans.
Coming back to where Atlas and Trump went wrong—many experts have said that there is evidence that masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. An infectious disease specialist Peter Chin-Hong said, "You can't look in a crowd and say, oh, that person should wear masks. There's a lot of asymptomatic infection, so everybody has to wear a mask."
However, as of Sunday, October 18 the US recorded over 8,107,000 Coronavirus cases and more than 219,300 deaths.