Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., accused the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, of “glossing over the science” when it comes to whether or not people who have already had the coronavirus should still have to wear masks.
“We have over 11 million people in our country who have already had COVID, we should tell them to celebrate,” Paul told Martha MacCallum Thursday night. “We should tell them to throw away their masks go to restaurants, live again – because these people are now immune.”
Paul’s comments, however, are contradictory to what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have advised, and, according to the top national health public institute, even people who have had the coronavirus can be susceptible to reinfection – which means they could infect others if they fall ill again.
“At this time, whether you have had COVID-19 or not, the best ways to prevent infection are to wear a mask in public places, stay at least 6 feet away from other people, frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and avoid crowds and confined spaces,” advises the CDC.
Paul went after Fauci, who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, for being overly cautious and not respecting personal liberties.
“Dr. Fauci doesn’t want to admit to any of that. Dr. Fauci is like ‘oh woe is me’,” Paul said. “Until the election occurs and now maybe he’ll be changing his attitude.”
Paul alluded to a clip showed to him of Fauci shortly before Nov. 3, explaining that “normal life” will likely not return until the end of 2021.
A second clip showed the top infectious disease doctor, who appeared on "Good Morning America" Thursday morning, saying in answer to a question about what he would tell people who are coronavirus fatigued, that “help is on the way."
"If you want to think of it metaphorically, the cavalry is coming. Vaccines are going to have a major positive impact," he added.
Fauci said that a vaccine could be available to first responders as soon as December, but that the general public will likely not have access to a vaccine until late spring or early summer.
Health officials have warned that November could be the worst month the U.S. has seen since the onslaught of the pandemic – a scenario that cities like Chicago are already experiencing. As of Thursday night, there were more than 10.5 million cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., where the virus has killed at least 242,000 people.
“I think he’s biased in the sense that he believes in government solutions,” Paul said of Fauci. “He believes that submission and lockdowns are fine, he’s not too worried about individual liberties."
Paul said he is fervently opposed to another lockdown or even nationwide face mask measures, saying they are the equivalent to living in an “authoritarian” society.
The senator also does not believe the science regarding the importance of wearing a face mask as a way to protect yourself and other people from the virus.
The CDC has said that the coronavirus is largely transmitted through “respiratory droplets generated when people cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe,” and therefore encourage people to wear masks to stop the spread – a tactic that President-elect Joe Biden has said he may enforce nationwide, to try and tackle the virus.
Paul also claims — without evidence– that the data on mask efficiencies is botched.