Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) received a sharp education lesson on virus immunity and prevention from Dr. Anthony Fauci during a Senate hearing on Wednesday when the Kentucky physician attempted to attribute New York’s dramatic reduction in COVID-19 cases to herd immunity instead of people following safety protocols.
During a heated back and forth, Paul, who has opposed mask mandates, criticized Fauci’s past praise of New York and its Democratic governor’s handling of the pandemic.
“New York had the highest death rate in the world,” Paul said. “How can we possibly be jumping up and down and saying, oh Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo did a great job? He had the worst death rate in the world.”
Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, responded with a fact check.
“No, you misconstrued that, senator, and you’ve done that repetitively in the past,” Fauci fired back. “They got hit very badly. They made some mistakes. Right now ... the things that are going on in New York to get their test positivity 1 percent or less is because they are looking at the guidelines that we have put together from the [coronavirus] task force.”
Dr. Fauci has had just about enough of Rand Paul, basically calls him a moron.— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) September 23, 2020
"This happens with Senator Rand all the time... If you believe 22% is herd immunity, I believe you’re alone in that. pic.twitter.com/BdsuGsz8TI
Those safety guidelines include mask-wearing, social distancing, avoiding crowds, washing hands and participating in public gatherings that are outdoors instead of indoors whenever possible.
“Or they’ve developed enough community immunity that they’re no longer having the pandemic because they have enough immunity in New York City to actually stop,” Paul interrupted.
“I challenge that,” Fauci responded, before repeating the latest data presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC’s director, Robert Redfield,...