‘Mask mandates don’t work’: White House COVID adviser criticizes ‘obsession’ with masks

"The evidence on universal masking is really pretty weak."

Published: October 16, 2020 2:18pm

Updated: October 17, 2020 6:10pm

White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Scott Atlas is criticizing what he said was an ongoing "obsession" with masks, claiming that universal masking mandates "don't work" at suppressing the spread of SARS-Cov-2. 

Atlas made the remarks during an appearance on Fox News's "The Ingraham Angle" following President Trump's Miami town hall event. During that broadcast, host Savannah Guthrie challenged the president several times over his stance on masking. 

On host Laura Ingraham's show, Atlas criticized what he called a "lame, bizarre obsession at this point that everyone must have universal masking."


He cited multiple U.S. counties, states, and worldwide countries in which broad mask mandates have been instituted –from Hawaii to the United Kingdom – that have nevertheless had major increases in COVID-19 cases.

The U.K., for instance, has required masks on public transportation and in shops since mid-summer, yet their average daily case rate is currently more than triple from its peak in the spring. 

"The president has a rational, common-sense mask policy," Atlas said. "If you cannot socially distance, you wear a mask, particularly when you're high risk."

"And I think Americans are getting a little bit sick of this obsession with masks," he added. 

Trump has resisted demands to impose a nationwide mask mandate since the start of the pandemic. A majority of U.S. states, meanwhile, have instituted some form of mask mandate over the past several months. 

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