Senator Rand paulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul urges Fauci to provide “more optimism” about the coronavirus Why our experts might think twice before saying that children should not return to the classroom Defense overnight: lawmakers demand answers about rewards Russians for US Troop Deaths in Afghanistan | Defense law amendments point to withdrawal from Germany, Pentagon program arms police MORE (R-Ky.) Tuesday criticized Anthony FauciAnthony Fauci Nightly Healthcare: Fauci Predicts 100,000 Virus Cases a Day if US Can’t Control Outbreaks | Trump officials seek reassurance about possible COVID-19 vaccine DeSantis says Florida “will not reopen” as COVID-19 cases increase Trump officials seek to reassure public about possible safety coronavirus vaccine MORE, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, on his cautious assessments of the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that it should provide “more optimism” to the American public.
“We just need more optimism. There is good news out there, and we are not getting it,” Paul said when Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus workforce, testified before the Senate of Health, Education, Labor and Committee Pensions.
Paul, who has expressed problems with plans to close schools and businesses in the past, argued that the United States’ response to a pandemic should not depend on a small group of health experts. He also said that the recommendations of one man should not “be imposed” on the entire nation and said that health officials should show more caution in their forecasts.
“We need not be so presumptuous that we know everything,” Paul said, pointing to the evidence that he said showed that reopening schools in the fall could be done safely. “When are we going to tell people the truth, that it’s okay to bring our children to school?”
Paul also focused on Fauci’s recent comments about restarting sporting events and collective immunity, stating that “we should not assume that a group of experts somehow knows what is best for everyone.”
The comments marked the second time Paul attacked Fauci during a congressional hearing on his recommendations for the slowdown in the coronavirus, which has infected more than 2.6 million people in the US and accounted for approximately 126,000 deaths.
In May, Paul told Fauci that he should “be a little humble” because he didn’t know what was best for the economy.
In response to Paul’s comments Tuesday, Fauci said he agreed with much of what the senator said about officials transmitting opinions without data. But he noted that “sometimes you have to do extrapolations because you’re in a position where you need to at least give some kind of recommendation.”
“I feel like we have to do everything we can to get the kids back to school. So I think we agree with that,” Fauci said, maintaining that he has never issued a judgment on whether sports leagues should be resumed.
He noted that sports league officials asked him for information about the spread of the virus, saying that his comments have sometimes been misinterpreted in the press.
Fauci said earlier this month that it could be “very difficult” for the NFL to return this fall, prompting President Trump to say that the health official “has nothing to do” with the league’s decisions.
“It is interpreted when I say, ‘You can’t play this sport.'” I agree with you. I’m not qualified to tell you if you can play a sport or not, “Fauci said Tuesday.” All I can do is, to the best of my ability, provide you with the facts and evidence associated with what I know about this outbreak. “
The exchange on Capitol Hill between Fauci and Paul comes as the United States experiences a resurgence in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations stemming from the disease, causing multiple states to pause reopening plans.
The United States now registers about 40,000 new cases per day, beating the previous records established in April.
During the testimony, Fauci warned that the country was heading in the “wrong direction” and that the United States could soon see 100,000 new cases a day if it did not control the outbreak.
“We need to do something about it, and we must do it very quickly,” Fauci said.