Former U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned the public against following the recent update to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines shortening the recommended quarantine duration for asymptomatic people to five days.
“Regardless of what CDC says, you really should try to obtain an antigen test (I know- easier said than done) and confirm it’s negative prior to leaving isolation and quarantine,” Adams tweeted. “There’s not a scientist or doctor I’ve met yet who wouldn’t do this for themselves/ their family.”
“I love the CDC. Grew up wanting to work there and have been one of their most ardent defenders. I never dreamed the day would come when I would advise people NOT to follow their guidance,” Adams wrote in a follow-up tweet.
On Monday, the CDC reduced their recommended quarantine time from 10 days to five for asymptomatic individuals with COVID-19.
“People with COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter,” the CDC said in a statement.
The update came after the CEO of Delta Airlines wrote a letter to the CDC requesting that it shorten their recommended quarantine time from 10 days to five.
The CDC said the decision was sparked by science that indicated most virus transmission occurs earlier in its course.
But the Biden administration’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, indicated that getting people back to work was the inspiration behind the update.
“The reason is that with the sheer volume of new cases that we are having and that we expect to continue with omicron, one of the things we want to be careful of is we don’t have so many people out,” Fauci told CNN’s Jim Acosta on Monday, adding that he thought the decision was a good choice.
“If you are asymptomatic and you are infected, we want to get people back to the jobs, especially those with essential jobs,” he added.
When asked if it’s difficult for Americans to keep track of the CDC’s changes, Fauci said: “It just makes sense, keeping them out for five days.”
“I don’t think it’s confusing,” he added. “I think it’s a rather crisp recommendation.”