As the spread of the delta variant prompts new concerns and restrictions nationwide, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said this weekend he believes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was “premature” and “wrong” in easing the national mask mandate, and should move to immediately reverse its decision.
Adams, who served for nearly four years under former President Donald Trump, expressed deep concern about the CDC’s current “vax it or mask it” policy—recommending mask usage mostly just for the unvaccinated—in a flurry of tweets Saturday night and Sunday morning.
He acknowledged the CDC’s May decision to lift mask requirements in most indoor and outdoor settings for fully vaccinated people was based on “science” and “conditions” at the time.
However, the ex-top doctor argued both these factors have changed because of the more infectious delta variant, which is now the U.S.’s dominant strain and is driving a rise in cases and hospitalizations across the country.
Adams said the emerging data suggests the CDC should be advising to “vax it AND mask it” in areas with rising cases and test positivity “until we see numbers going back down again.”