Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rand Paul, the junior United States Republican Senator from Kentucky, has spearheaded a bizarre and utterly stupid crusade against face masks, which when worn are highly effective at reducing transmission of SARS-COV-2.
During a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing into the national coronavirus response on Thursday, Paul got into yet another argument that he had no chance of winning against Doctor Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease specialist in the country.
Paul challenged Fauci on his medical opinion that Americans should continue to cover their faces with masks even though vaccinations are accelerating and the risk of re-infection is low, but not non-existent.
Paul referenced a recent British study that found no instances of re-infection as well as another study that showed that antibody levels remain stable following a coronavirus infection, suggesting long-term immunity.
“What specific studies do you cite to argue that the public should be wearing masks well into 2022?” Paul asked Fauci.
Fauci was perplexed by the question because masks are used to prevent new infections.
“I’m not sure I’m understanding the connection of what you’re saying about masks and re-infection. We’re talking about people who have never been infected before,” Fauci replied.
Paul – stuck in a cerebral vortex of ignorance – completely missed the point.
“You’re telling everybody to wear a mask whether they’ve had an infection or a vaccine. What I’m saying is they have immunity and everybody agrees they have immunity. What studies do you have that people who have had the vaccine or have had the infection are spreading the infection? If we’re not spreading the infection, isn’t it just theater? You’ve had the vaccine and you’re wearing two masks. Isn’t that theater?” asked Paul.
“Here we go again with the theater,” Fauci quipped.
“Let’s get down to the facts. The studies that you quote from Crotty and Sette look at in vitro examination of memory immunity, which in their paper they specifically say this does not necessarily pertain to the actual protection. It’s in vitro,” he explained until Paul cut him off to repeat the same line of recursive questions.
“Just let me finish the response to your question if you please,” a visibly irritated Fauci continued, noting that the unpredictability of COVID-19 variants justifies wearing masks. “The other thing is that when you talk about reinfection and you don’t keep in the concept of variants, that’s an entirely different ball game. That’s a good reason for a mask.”
The testy sparring went on for several more minutes. because Paul refused to acknowledge the difference between reinfection with the original strain and the unknown risks posed by variants of the virus.
Fauci stressed that just because a dominant variant has not yet emerged in the United States that there is no danger.
“There’s no science behind” masks, Paul whined, adding that the “nanny state” has no business mandating masks, which he referred to as “theater.”
Paul also demanded that the government give people a “reward” for getting a vaccine.
Would another stimulus check count? Who knows. Paul voted against them.
Watch the exchange below:
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.