President Joe Biden is giving "red meat" to the base of his party by blaming unvaccinated people for the continued spread of COVID-19 by focusing on the number of supporters of former President Donald Trump who have refused to get their shots, former Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Newsmax Monday.
The Biden administration "has continued to frame this as a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and they focus on the fact that there are a larger number of people in that unvaccinated pool who voted for Trump, so it's a political framing," said Adams on Newsmax's "Wake Up America."
Adams insisted that vaccinations, though, are the "No. 1 thing we can do to protect ourselves," and that people must be "smart about masking, testing, and treatment and taking care of our baseline health."
However, there are many reasons that people aren't vaccinated.
"There are Black and brown people who are still hesitant to get vaccinated," said Adams. "There are young people who are unvaccinated. Shaming and blaming all those people hurts our ability to engage them … it infuriates me because it's political, and it hurts our ability to be able to fight this pandemic."
There are also "incredibly confusing" messages about masks, with the CDC putting out new guidance recommending people wear KN95 or N95 masks rather than disposable or cloth masks, said Adams, and he recommends instead wearing the "highest quality mask that you can" afford.
"Some masks provide better protection than no mask at all," said Adams. "The challenge with the White House is that they don't want to take on anything that puts them at political risk. They don't want to tell you to go out and use a higher-quality mask. And then you say, Well, I can't afford it. I can't find one and you blame them."
But people must get the best advice possible to protect themselves so they can make the decisions on how to protect themselves, he added.
Meanwhile, the administration is planning to send out masks and tests to Americans, and Adams said that will be "too little, too late" to fight back against the omicron variant and also for delta.
He continued that both the Biden administration and that of former President Donald Trump have erred because they wanted to declare victory over COVID-19 too soon.
"When the Biden administration came in, they had three vaccines delivered to them, and they thought that they were going to ride out into the sunset and say, Hey, the pandemic's over," said Adams. "That didn't happen, and while it wasn't happening, they were telling companies who are reaching out to them that 'we don't want your testing. We don't need to ramp this up.'"
He said he hopes the administration can continue to ramp up the production of tests and masks and to get them out to the public.
"We have the tools to fight this pandemic successfully," said Adams. "We just need to engage people, give them those tools and hope that they use them responsibly … we've got to get through this surge by pulling together, getting vaccinated, getting boosted, and then we can be back in school, hopefully across the country in the next couple of weeks."
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