Sen. Rand Paul got more than what he bargained for after challenging Dr. Anthony Fauci to explain the need for people to continue wearing masks once they’ve already been infected with or vaccinated against COVID-19.
Paul, who was infected with COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic last March, has said he is immune to future infection and refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol. He also declared he does not need to be vaccinated. During the hearing, he clashed with the nation’s top infectious diseases expert.
“You’re telling everyone to wear a mask,” Paul said. “If we’re not spreading the infection, isn’t it just theater? You have the vaccine and you’re wearing two masks, isn’t that theater?”
“Here we go again with the theater,” an exasperated Fauci responded. “Let’s get down to the facts.”
Paul argued there are no studies that show significant reinfection among people who have recovered from the virus or after vaccination.
“I agree with you, that you very likely would have protection from wild type for at least six months if you’re infected,” Fauci said, but pointed out there is no protection from some of the more infectious variants, like the one one first found in South Africa. The variants are a “good reason for a mask.”
“You’re making policy based on conjecture!” Paul said, talking over Fauci and accusing him of wanting people to wear masks “for another couple of years.”
“You’ve been vaccinated and you parade around in two masks for show,” Paul continued. “If you already have immunity, you’re wearing a mask to give comfort to others. You’re not wearing a mask because of any science.”
“Let me just state for the record, masks are not theater,” Fauci said, adding that “I totally disagree” with what Paul said.
Watch the video below.
Dr. Fauci to Sen. Rand Paul: "Here we go again with the theater. Let's get down to the facts." pic.twitter.com/z3zaCclao0
— The Hill (@thehill) March 18, 2021
Sen. @RandPaul: "If we're not spreading the infection, isn't it just theater? You have the vaccine and you're wearing two masks, isn't that theater?
Dr. Anthony Fauci: "Here we go again with the theater. Let's get down to the facts."
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 18, 2021