CDC should admit it was wrong and urge vaccinated Americans to wear masks again, says former surgeon general who served under Trump

jerome adams surgeon general masks
Former President Donald Trump watches as former US Surgeon General Jerome Adams holds up his face mask in April 2020.

  • Former Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams on Saturday said the CDC should advise mask wearing.
  • Adams said “the emerging data suggests CDC should be advising to vax it AND mask it.”
  • CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Friday said it’s become a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
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Former Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams on Saturday said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should extend its mask requirements, amid the rise of COVID-19 variants.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in late June said fully vaccinated Americans don’t need masks in most public places. Adams on Saturday said officials should admit those statements were “premature.”

“Instead of vax it OR mask it, the emerging data suggests CDC should be advising to vax it AND mask it in areas with [rising] cases and positivity – until we see numbers going back down again,” Adams said on Twitter. “CDC was well intended, but the message was misinterpreted, premature, & wrong. Let’s fix it.”

He added: “The sooner CDC says we were wrong, & hits the reset button, the better.”

Walensky on Friday said COVID-19 was “becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated” in the US. “We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk,” she said during a press briefing.

Adams, who served under President Donald Trump, said in a Twitter thread that current CDC leaders were making the same mistake he’d made while leading the pandemic response.

Adams and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease scientist, said in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic that masks weren’t necessary.

But the CDC was recommending masks by April 2020.

“Last year Tony Fauci and I famously, prematurely, & wrongly advised against masks. I felt it was the best call at the time, but now regret it,” he said. “I’m worried the CDC also made a similarly premature, misinterpreted, yet still harmful call on masking in the face of [rising] delta variant.”

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