“You’re making policy based on conjecture,” said the Kentucky Senator.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul sparred with top White House health adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday.
During the Senate hearing, Paul and Fauci argued over the need for Americans to wear masks if they’ve already been infected with the COVID-19 virus or if they’ve already received the vaccine.
Dr. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He has recommended Americans continue to wear face masks and practice social distancing through 2022 even if they’ve had COVID or received the COVID jab.
Sen. Paul questioned Fauci’s reasoning, asking for evidence:
“No scientific studies have shown significant numbers of reinfections of patients previously infected or previously vaccinated, what specific studies do you cite to argue that the public should be wearing masks well into 2022?” Paul asked.
“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,” Sen. Paul added. “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?” asked Paul.
“Here we go again with the theater,” Fauci shot back. “Let’s get down to facts.”
Pointing to studies in South Africa, Fauci argued that coronavirus variants still do pose a risk for people who have already been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19.
Since Fauci didn’t answer the question, Sen. Paul doubled down:
“What study shows significant reinfection, hospitalization, and death after either natural infection or the vaccine?” Paul asked. “It doesn’t exist. There is no evidence that there are significant reinfections after [taking the] vaccine.”
Fauci brought up variants again but was not able to cite specific, scientific evidence for continuing to wear a mask after infection or vaccination.