Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said during a hearing on Tuesday that Dr. Anthony Fauci is not the “end all” authority on the coronavirus response.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified before a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on putting America back to work and putting children back to school in the fall. He has served as one of the key White House Coronavirus Task Force members.
Fauci said in a statement to the New York Times on Tuesday that if the country reopens too soon during the coronavirus outbreak, it will bring “needless suffering and death.”
Paul, an ophthalmologist who recently recovered from the coronavirus, countered Fauci’s argument that America should be cautious about reopening the country. The Kentucky conservative said, “We never really reached any sort of pandemic levels in Kentucky and other states. We have fewer deaths in Kentucky than an average flu season.”
Paul argued that state governments and localities should decide when to reopen compared to a national reopening strategy, contending that many models have overstated the number of coronavirus deaths that would come from the pandemic.
“I think that … we’re going to have a national one-size-fits-all approach — nobody’s going to go to school, is kind of ridiculous. We really ought to be doing it school district by school district, and the power needs to be dispersed because people make wrong predictions,” Paul said.
Paul then said that Fauci is not the “end all” source for the coronavirus outbreak and that many authorities have shown that many parts of the country are ready to reopen.
We ought to have a little bit of humility in our belief that we know what’s best for the economy. And, as much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don’t think you’re the end-all. I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make the decision. We can listen to your advice, but there are people on the other sides saying that there’s not going to be a surge, and we can safely open the economy, and the facts will bear this out.
Fauci responded, saying, “I never made myself out to be the end-all and only voice in this, I’m a scientist, a physician, and a public health official.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.