Twitter raps Trump COVID-19 adviser as U.S. cases rise
By Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Twitter on Sunday removed a 'misleading' tweet downplaying the efficacy of masks posted by a top coronavirus adviser to President Donald Trump, while U.S. cases surged before the Nov. 3 election.
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By Doina Chiacu
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Twitter on Sunday removed a "misleading" tweet downplaying the efficacy of masks posted by a top coronavirus adviser to President Donald Trump, while U.S. cases surged before the Nov. 3 election.
As the Trump administration fends off accusations that its mixed messaging on wearing masks hampered the fight against the coronavirus , Dr. Scott Atlas continued to minimize the importance of masks with a Twitter post on Saturday, saying, "Masks work? NO."
The White House had no immediate comment on the decision.
Atlas has downplayed the wearing of masks, a coronavirus containment measure that has been widely endorsed by health experts but not enthusiastically promoted by the president.
Trump, a Republican, is seeking re-election on Nov. 3 against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in the midst of a pandemic that has weakened the economy and killed more than 217,000 Americans.
For an interactive graphic https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps tracking the global spread of coronavirus , open (https://tmsnrt.rs/2FThSv7) in an external browser.
New infections have been rising fast in the United States, according to a Reuters analysis, with more than 69,400 reported on Friday, up from 46,000 a month ago. Total U.S. cases have surpassed 8 million.
Trump, who was hospitalized with the disease for three nights in early October, has been criss-crossing the country in a surge of 11th-hour campaigning as he lags in many public opinion polls. His rallies draw thousands of supporters in close quarters, with many not wearing masks despite federal coronavirus guidelines.
Despite data showing otherwise, Trump has said repeatedly in recent weeks that the country is "rounding the turn" on coronavirus .
On Sunday, Trump again attributed the latest surge in coronavirus cases to more testing, but health experts cite increases in hospitalizations and the rates at which people are testing positive for the virus to show cases are indeed rising.
"The United States shows more CASES 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.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, said the United States is probably entering the worst phase of the pandemic without a national strategy.
"I think the next three months are going to be very challenging. There's really no backstop against the spread that we're seeing," Gottlieb told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.
Hospitalizations were rising in 42 states and there is no intervention short of a vaccine that can thwart the spread, he said. The White House has come out against universal masking, against testing asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic people and wants businesses and schools reopened, he said.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar urged Americans to continue social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands. "Hang in there with us," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press," adding, "We are so close."
However, Gottlieb, who sits on the board of vaccine maker Pfizer Inc
"So it begs the question, 'what is the strategy?'" he said. "And I think the strategy is just to endure the spread until we get to that vaccine."
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Chris Sanders in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.