Anthony Fauci on Thursday defended the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) decision to cut its recommended isolation time to five days for people infected with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic

Fauci said there was a need to cut the isolation period for asymptomatic people to keep society running as the nation is hit with the highly contagious omicron variant.

“The reason is that now that we have such an overwhelming volume of cases coming in, many of which are without symptoms, there’s the danger that this is going to have a really negative impact on our ability to really get society to function properly,” Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said in an interview on NewsNation’s “Morning in America.”

“The CDC made a decision to balance what’s good for public health at the same time as keeping the society running,” he continued, adding that the CDC “thought it out well” though the decision was not “100 percent risk-free.”

Fauci said people leaving isolation after five days who are asymptomatic should mask diligently around others and when they return to work. 

“Let them go out with a mask being careful so that they can fulfill their job in society to keep society going smoothly,” he said. 

Fauci’s remarks come after the CDC’s change in guidelines this week have faced some criticism. 

Earlier this week, former Surgeon General Jerome Adams advised against following the guidance, saying people should get a negative test before leaving isolation. 

“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 tweeted on Tuesday. “They wouldn’t even follow it for their own family.”

Across the world, COVID-19 cases have spiked in recent days fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant. The World Health Organization reported that the world saw an 11 percent increase in infections during the week of Christmas compared to the week prior. 

Tags Anthony Fauci CDC guidance COVID-19 Dr. Anthony Fauci Jerome Adams Joe Biden Medical adviser Morning in America NewsNation omicron

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video