Time has proven Rand Paul had his thumb on the pulse of the science of the virus, and understood the unintended consequences of government interventions better than public health officials.
With most sporting events canceled for much of the past year, audiences have tuned into a new kind of sparring to fill the void: political debates. And two opponents have quickly risen to the top of their weight classes—Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The two have paired off for numerous rounds in a feud that’s representative of the one the rest of the country has been having—how should the government respond to the coronavirus.
In each of these exchanges, the mainstream media and many on the left have rushed to condemn Rand for his views and back Fauci’s various stances. But with hindsight on our side, we can now look back on these debates and determine which of their perspectives history has proven correct.
Here’s a look back at some of their most memorable moments in the ring.
1. Round One: Schools
Last summer, Rand Paul outraged the left by simply stating that classrooms should remain open to public school students.
“There’s a great deal of evidence that’s actually good—good evidence—that kids aren’t transmitting this—it’s rare—and that kids are staying healthy, and that yes we can open our schools,” he said in a committee hearing.
Fauci vehemently disagreed, alleging that children could spread the disease as easily as adults and advocating federal regulations around reopening schools.
But a mere six months later, Fauci was singing Rand’s tune—walking back his earlier comments.
“If you look at the data, the spread among children and from children is not very big at all,” Fauci stated. “Not like one would have suspected.”
Well, Rand Paul suspected.
To be clear, the science didn’t change over those six months. The politics did. Data always showed it was relatively safe to send kids to school.
2. Round Two: Masking
In March, the two doctors duked it out again, this time over the question of whether or not Americans should continue to wear masks post-vaccination.
“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,” Fauci responded.
In a video, Fauci all but admitted his mask mandates were for show stating, “I didn’t want to look like I was giving mixed signals.