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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The White House isn’t letting Facebook off the hook for allowing misinformation to spread on its platforms

Vaccine
The White House wants Facebook to remove misinformation quicker, CNN reported.

  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday Facebook must remove misinformation quicker.
  • Anthony Fauci said the “disparity in the willingness to be vaccinated” could lead to a COVID surge.
  • White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain recently said Facebook is “a giant source” of vaccine misinformation.
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The White House wants Facebook to act quicker in removing posts containing vaccine misinformation.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Facebook takes too long to remove “violative posts” during a press briefing. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said during the briefing that misinformation is slowing the pace of vaccinations in the US.

“Facebook needs to move more quickly to remove violative posts,” Psaki said. “Posts that will be within their policies’ removal often remain up for days. That’s too long. The information spreads too quickly.”

CNN reported meetings between the Biden administration and Facebook have been “tense” in recent weeks.

In a statement to Insider, Facebook said, “We’ve partnered with government experts, health authorities and researchers to take aggressive action against misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines to protect public health.”

The statement pointed to the more than 18 million pieces of COVID misinformation Facebook has removed, as well as “accounts that repeatedly break these rules, and connected more than 2 billion people to reliable information about COVID-19 and COVID vaccines across our apps.”

Read more: Hospitals, big investors, and insurers bought 22,700 doctors during the pandemic in a race that could shape the future of healthcare

The US missed Joe Biden’s goal of giving adults at least one vaccine jab by July 4. Though vaccine hesitancy decreased since last year according to survey data, less than 60% of US adults were fully vaccinated as of July 15.

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain recently said, “I’ve told Mark Zuckerberg directly that when we gather groups of people who are not vaccinated, and we ask them, ‘Why aren’t you vaccinated?’ and they tell us things that are wrong, tell us things that are untrue, and we ask them where they’ve heard that. The most common answer is Facebook.”

The White House estimates misinformation could have dire consequences: Anthony Fauci said the “disparity in the willingness to be vaccinated” could lead to a surge of the Delta variant in the US.

Facebook was not immediately available for comment.

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