Former Surgeon General Jerome Adams sparked a controversy on Sunday with a tweet appearing to lecture a college student over what really constituted a “lockdown.”
Adams invoked imprisoned WNBA player Brittney Griner and his own brother — who was previously incarcerated — to suggest that the student was wrong to say that he had been locked down during the coronavirus pandemic.
The conversation began with a tweet from Adams, who criticized politicians who were running on a promise to never lock down their constituents again, saying they were offering little more than cheap campaign slogans.
“Today’s IDK who needs to hear this: ‘We will never lock down again,’ is a political campaign slogan — not a real and honest discussion about pandemic policy,” Adams tweeted. “We NEVER ‘locked down’ before (especially so in the places that most complain about it) so we can’t do it ‘again …’”
“If your position is, “with the knowledge and the tools we have gained we must do all we can to keep from closing schools,” then I completely agree. Or perhaps ‘we can utilize those same lessons and tools to help keep businesses open’ — I also agree with this — so lets discuss!” he said.
“Pandemic hyperbole is as rampant and deadly as Covid19. If we want to have sincere and honest conversations about policy, we’ve got to be sincere and honest ourselves. Starting w/ acknowledging we never truly locked down, yet we must do all we can to keep open in the future,” he continued.
A college student named Ryan responded, disputing Adams’ claim that he had never been locked down and pointing out just a few of the things that COVID restrictions had taken from him.
“As someone who lived in lockdown hell in MN for 2 years, I lost 1) my high school graduation 2) my prom 3) my first year of college 4) social interaction. Public health locked me in my bedroom along with many other kids. If that doesn’t constitute lockdown, I don’t know what does,” he said.
Adams then responded: