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Trump surgeon general: 'Pandemic is spiraling out of control'

Former Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who served during the Trump administration, said on Sunday that the pandemic is "spiraling out of control yet again," as cases begin to rise and the country's vaccination rate plateaus.

"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. 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," Adams told host John Dickerson on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"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," Adams continued.

More than 163 million people in the U.S. are fully inoculated against COVID-19, which translates to 49.1 percent of the total population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC reports that 56.8 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Cases have been on the rise in recent weeks, however, as the highly infectious delta variant spreads through the country. The surge in infections have mainly affected those who have not been vaccinated.

Anthony Fauci, President Biden's chief medical adviser, said on Sunday in a separate interview that COVID-19 has become an "outbreak among the unvaccinated."

Vaccine hesitancy is still proving to be a hurdle in reaching herd immunity, as sectors of the population remain steadfast in their opposition to getting inoculated.

Adams told Dickerson that one of the quickest ways to increase the country's inoculation rate and reduce vaccine hesitancy is by getting the shots fully authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are all available through the FDA's emergency use authorization.

"If you want to get a bunch of people vaccinated really quickly, get these vaccines licensed. And then you'll see the military make it mandatory, you'll see businesses make it mandatory," Adams said.

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