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Scott Atlas. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter took down a tweet from one of President Trump's most visible coronavirus task force members, Scott Atlas, that claimed widespread use of face masks does not help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Why it matters: Atlas — who is a radiologist, not an epidemiologist — has become one of the president's favorite coronavirus advisers, despite his controversial views.

  • Atlas has falsely claimed that "herd immunity" can be achieved with 20%–25% of the population infected, and he suggested that calls for widespread testing and tracing are "grossly misguided.”
  • Atlas has frequently clashed with other members of the White House coronavirus task force. Last month, an NBC News reporter overheard CDC Director Robert Redfield saying on a phone call: "Everything he says is false."

The big picture: Atlas' tweet marks yet another example of the Trump administration sharing false or misleading information about COVID-19 as cases continue to spike across the country. Twitter told CNN the tweet was in violation of the company's misleading information policy around COVID-19 that could lead to harm.

  • The company has flagged and limited the sharing of several of Trump's misleading tweets around the coronavirus.
  • Atlas linked to an article from the American Institute for Economic Research that questioned the effectiveness of masks.

The bottom line: Ten states reported their highest number of coronavirus cases on Friday, and the country as a whole reported 70,000 new infections in a day for the first time since July.

Go deeper: Check out Axios' coronavirus dashboard

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategy

Biden signs executive orders on Jan. 21. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

"It's gonna get worse before it gets better": President Biden expects 100,000 Americans to die from COVID-19 during his first six weeks in office.

The big picture: Biden said he's putting America on a wartime footing against the virus, signing 10 executive orders today alone.

Jan 22, 2021 - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.