Speaking to Tucker Carlson on Friday night, the senator ranted about how his freedoms had been impinged after being forced to wear a mask, including in the Capitol gym and repeated the claim that Dr. Fauci, who now wears two masks, of doing so for ‘theater.
It was an allegation made earlier this week at a senate hearing when the Kentucky Senator accused him of using face masks as ‘theater’ for the ‘nanny state’.
The senator also accused the country’s top infectious disease expert of telling a ‘noble lie’ after instructing people to continue to wear face masks even after receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
Republican Rand Paul has fired back at Dr. Anthony Fauci as their war of words over face masks continues
Fauci has insisted that wearing face masks was still necessary for public safety
‘One thing about freedom is freedom doesn’t have to be practical or have a study to say why you should have to have freedom here they need to have a study in scientific proof to show us why we shouldn’t have freedom,’ Paul said.
Fauci, the nation’s top public health expert, and Paul, a libertarian who infuriated colleagues by continuing to use the Senate gym while awaiting the results of his COVID test, clashed forcefully on Thursday.
‘I shouldn’t have to prove I want to be free and left alone. I want to breathe the air. I was on the treadmill the other day and some Karen goes and reports people on the treadmill running without a mask,’ Paul ranted.
‘For goodness sake, since the world we live in where everybody is reporting everyone and the gestapo is going to come in a rescue like this poor woman?
‘My goodness, they need to present the proof, the burden should be on the government to show that someone who is vaccinated is getting it again and being hospitalized and dying or spreading it instead of the conjecture of Anthony Fauci that says someday you might.’
Paul has accused Fauci of trying to keep Americans under COVID restrictions ‘forever’.
‘My response was someday the Spanish flu might come back so maybe we should always wear a mask because this isn’t as bad as the Spanish flu and a lot less deadly, but someday the Spanish flu is going to come back. Why should we not wear a mask until we die?’
Paul attacked government guidance that people who have been vaccinated still wear masks
Paul continued: ‘When they mandate it, it is incumbent upon them that they should have to show the proof. There is no proof when you have been vaccinated or when you have gotten the disease naturally that you are spreading it. If there were, it would be all over the news.
Paul then went on to accuse Fauci of encouraging people to wear masks as being a ‘noble lie’.
‘There are no news reports or scientific studies saying after vaccination that there is some sort of widespread contagion that people vaccinated are spreading the disease. It is just not true. What Fauci won’t tell you is he is telling you a noble lie.
‘He is lying because he doesn’t think we are smart enough to make decisions. His fear is if the vaccinating, if we quit wearing masks, the vaccinated will say what the hell, I’m not wearing a mask either.
‘So he lies to say the mask makes a difference when in reality he knows better.
‘He’s wearing two masks for theater. He is immune and he knows he will not get it but he’s not being honest with the American public,’ the senator contended.
Dr Anthony Fauci appeared on CNN on Thursday night to discuss his earlier row with Rand Paul
On Thursday night Fauci told CNN that it was ‘not the first time’ he and Paul had argued, but insisted that it was still essential to carry on wearing a face mask after being vaccinated.
‘There is always a kernel of truth in what he says; that there is protection, to some extent, after you get infected. There is no doubt about that,’ Fauci told Chris Cuomo.
Fauci, 80, pointed out that Paul was ignoring the threat from new variants, and was ‘selective’ in his quoting medical literature.
Fauci highlighted an article in The Lancet published on Wednesday which said people aged 65 and over were at particular risk of getting re-infected.
‘I’m afraid if people hear what he says, and they believe it, and you have an elderly person who has been infected, and they decide, well Rand Paul says you won’t get it again – they could get re-infected again and get into trouble,’ he said.
‘That’s the thing that bothers me about that kind of an interchange.’
Fauci said he understood that people were ‘tired of the constraints’ of social distancing and mask wearing, but insisted that for now it was still the right thing to do.
‘We are not saying doing this indefinitely,’ he said.
‘We are not saying this is the way it’s going to have to be all the time.
‘We are saying that if you look at the data, look at the science, you could get in trouble if you pull back too prematurely.
Women are seen wearing face masks in New York City on Wednesday
‘That’s what we are saying. We are not saying it is not difficult to maintain public health measures, when you do it so long. On that, we agree.’
Fauci, who was appointed by Joe Biden as his chief medical adviser, said that Europe was now going back into lockdown because they were too quick to lift restrictions, and had not had as high a vaccine uptake as in the United States.
‘We want to avoid that,’ he said, of the risk of a fourth wave and new lockdowns, as in Italy and France.
‘We’ve seen it before; we’ve been to that movie before; we want to avoid that.’
He said the recommendations on social distancing and mask wearing will change once more data becomes available that suggests it is safe.