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Twitter hits Trump adviser COVID-19 as US cases rise

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Twitter deleted a misleading tweet on Sunday downplaying the effectiveness of masks posted by one of President Donald Trump’s top coronavirus advisers, while U.S. cases rose ahead of the November 3 election.

As the Trump administration pushes back accusations that his mixed messages about wearing masks have hampered the fight against the coronavirus, Dr Scott Atlas continued to downplay the importance of masks with a Twitter post on Saturday, saying the masks work? NO.

Twitter Inc deleted the tweet on Sunday, saying it was in violation of its COVID-19 Misleading Information Policy, which targets statements that have been confirmed as false or misleading by subject matter experts.

The White House made no immediate comment on the decision.

Atlas has played down the wearing of masks, a coronavirus containment measure that has been widely endorsed by health experts but has not been enthusiastically encouraged by the president.

Trump, a Republican, is seeking re-election on Nov. 3 against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden amid a pandemic that has weakened the economy and killed more than 217,000 Americans.

For an interactive graph here following the global spread of the coronavirus, open (tmsnrt.rs/2FThSv7) in an external browser.

New infections have grown rapidly in the United States, according to a Reuters analysis, with more than 69,400 reported on Friday, up from 46,000 a month ago. The total number of cases in the United States has exceeded 8 million.

Trump, who was hospitalized with the disease for three nights in early October, crisscrossed the country in an 11-hour campaign wave as he was behind in many opinion polls. Its rallies draw thousands of close supporters, many not wearing masks despite federal coronavirus guidelines.

Despite data showing otherwise, Trump has repeatedly said in recent weeks that the country is bypassing the coronavirus turn.

Trump on Sunday again attributed the latest increase in coronavirus cases to more testing, but health experts cite an increase in hospitalizations and the rates at which people who test positive for the virus show cases are indeed increasing.

The United States shows more CAS than other countries, which the Lamestream Fake News Media pounces on daily, because it TESTS at such a high (and costly) level, he wrote on Twitter.

Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb said the United States is likely entering the worst phase of the pandemic without a national strategy.

I think the next three months will be very difficult. There really isn’t a safety net against the spread that was being seen, Gottlieb told CBS Face the Nation on Sunday.

Hospitalizations were rising in 42 states and there is no intervention without a vaccine that can thwart the spread, he said. The White House has spoken out against universal masking, against screening asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic people and wants businesses and schools to reopen, he said.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has urged Americans to continue social distancing, wear masks and wash their hands. Hang on with us, he told NBCs Meet the Press, adding: We’re so close.

However, Gottlieb, who sits on the board of directors of vaccine maker Pfizer Inc, said it may not be until February or March before the first slice of people vaccinated are truly protected against the virus.

So this begs the question, what is the strategy? he said. And I think the strategy is just to endure the spread until we get to this vaccine.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Chris Sanders in Washington; Edited by Matthew Lewis

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