Former surgeon general Jerome Adams said Sunday COVID-19 is "spiraling out of control" because too few people are vaccinated — warning “more mitigation is coming.”
In an interview with "Face the Nation," the vice admiral urged those who have yet to receive their vaccines to do so amid the sweep of the highly contagious delta variant across the nation.
"There's also real harm to you because, guess what? More mitigation is coming, whether it's masking or whether it's closures or whether it's your kids having to return to virtual learning, that is coming," Adams warned the unvaccinated.
"And it's coming because this pandemic is spiraling out of control yet again, and it's spiraling out of control because we don't have enough people vaccinated. So get vaccinated because it helps your neighbors, but get vaccinated because it's going to help every single American enjoy the freedoms that we want to return to.”
With the rise in coronavirus infections, some local officials have decided to reimpose mask mandates though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t changed its guidance — that masking is unnecessary for those who are fully vaccinated.
Adams said the CDC should change the guidance to urge even the vaccinated to wear masks in public settings.
"If you're out in public, if you're around people who you don't know whether they're vaccinated or not, and especially if you're in a community where prevalence is going up ... it is probably going to be safest for you to mask it whether or not you're vaccinated or not," he said.
"And your public health officials who don't have a good way of knowing, or your businesses who don't have a good way of knowing who's vaccinated or not, they're going to find that they have no other choice but to call on more people to mask it. And the CDC needs to give those businesses, those health officials, a little bit of cover by clarifying the guidance that they have out there."
Coronavirus cases rose in all 50 states, and hospitalizations and deaths are also up as the delta variant represents more than 83% of the virus circulating in the United States.
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