WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Dr. Anthony Fauci and Republican Sen. Rand Paul (KY.) had a verbal brawl on Thursday over the wearing of masks for people who already got vaccine shots.
- Paul said Fauci was wearing a mask for “theater” purposes, arguing that there is no evidence that people who contracted the virus can be reinfected.
- Fauci debunked Paul’s claims, saying that masks are still needed to avoid getting infected with more fatal COVID-19 variants.
US top infectious diseases expert and White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci engaged in a verbal dispute with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY.) on Thursday regarding the fact that people still need to wear face masks after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
“You’re telling everyone to wear a mask. 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?” Paul told Fauci during a Senate hearing Thursday.
“Here we go again with the theater. Let’s get down to the facts,” Fauci responded in a disappointed tone.
The Kentucky legislator argued that there were no studies that proved that people who recovered from the virus are prone to reinfection.
“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.
He emphasized, however, that there is no protection from other and more contagious COVID-19 strains, such as the South African variants. Fauci noted that such variants were a “good reason” to wear face masks.
“You’re making policy based on conjecture!” Paul responded as he accused the infectious expert of wanting Americans to wear masks “for another couple of years.”
“You’ve been vaccinated and you parade around in two masks for show. 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,” the senator continued.
“Let me just state for the record, masks are not theater,” Fauci said, adding that he totally disagrees with the disposition of the Republican lawmaker.
A libertarian ophthalmologist, Paul regularly had a heated exchange with Fauci all throughout the pandemic. Both clashed in various matters such as the effectiveness of restrictions and herd immunity.
After contracting the virus at the start of the outbreak last March, Paul said that he was immune to reinfection. He said that he does not need to get vaccine shots and has refused to wear face masks when he is in the Capitol.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who have completed their vaccinations are still encouraged to wear face masks in public places.
Source: The Hill