Former U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams argued Tuesday that the public should not follow recent federal guidance loosening the recommended COVID-19 isolation time.

Adams said individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should try to get an antigen test and make sure they test negative before leaving isolation.

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"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 said in a tweet.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cut their quarantine recommendation from 10 days down to five for asymptomatic people infected with COVID-19. It recommends people follow that with five days of masking around others.

Adams argued that the policy from the CDC is not based on "the best science" and is instead interested in trying to keep "the economy open in the face of inadequate tests."


The CDC argued in their press release announcing the change that it was responding to evidence that people are generally most infectious during the early stages of the COVID-19 illness.

Adams said he believed the CDC should have put more of an emphasis on strict mask-wearing.

"The Director could come out and say if you can get an antigen test that is the preferred way to end isolation," Adams said in another tweet. "If you can’t get an antigen test then you can end isolation early ONLY if you are committed to strict mask-wearing."

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The Washington Examiner reached out to the CDC for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Adams was the 20th U.S. surgeon general, serving from 2017 until early 2021 during the Trump administration. The surgeon general, sometimes referred to as the "nation's doctor," is the head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. His successor, the current surgeon general, is Vivek Murthy.