Senator Rand Paul aggressively questioned the guidance of federal health experts at a Senate committee hearing on Tuesday, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, arguing that Americans “just need more optimism,” despite the fact that there is currently more 2.6 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the United States, resulting in more than 125,000 deaths.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other top health officials testified before the Senate health committee about the state of the pandemic.
Fauci warned that the country was headed in the “wrong direction” and that “it would not be surprised” if new cases in the United States increased to 100,000 per day.
Paul, a Republican senator from Kentucky, strongly rejected health officials, whom he called the government’s “central planners.”
“It is important to realize that if society meekly submits to an expert and that expert is wrong, a great deal of harm can occur,” said Paul. “We should not assume that a group of experts somehow knows what is best for everyone.”
Paul, who was the first Senate member to test positive for the coronavirus in March, suggested that government health experts “show caution in their prognoses” and yield some authority.
Otherwise, the senator warned, citizens would become a “herd with a couple of people in Washington telling us what to do, and we like the sheep to follow blindly.”
Paul, who emphatically argued that schools should reopen, was explicitly critical of Fauci, stating that the doctor’s comments created “undue fear” across the country.
“All I hear, Dr. Fauci, is: ‘We can’t do this, we can’t do that. We can’t play baseball,'” Paul said.
Tuesday was not the first time these two had a fight on Capitol Hill. Paul challenged Fauci during a previous hearing in Congress last month on the eventual reopening of the American economy. “I think we should be a little humble in our belief that we know what’s best for the economy, and as much as I respect it, Dr. Fauci, I don’t think it’s the end.” Paul said. “I don’t think I’m the only person who makes the decision. We can listen to their advice, but there are people on the other side who say there won’t be a sudden increase, and then we can open up the economy. And the facts will confirm that.” Fauci defended himself by replying that “he never did [myself] to be the final and only voice in this, “adding that he was one of the many doctors who intervened on the subject.
Last month, regarding the reopening of schools, Fauci said: “We had better be careful, if we are not chivalrous, in thinking that children are completely immune to the ill effects” of Covid-19. However, in response to Paul’s passionate plea on Tuesday, Fauci, still voicing caution, told the senator: “I feel like we need to do everything we can to get the kids back to school. I think we agree.” with that one. “After Fauci finished her answer, Paul said,” Thank you, “adding,” We just need more optimism. “
Fauci responds to Rand Paul: “I have never made the end” (CNN)
Fauci tells Congress that the United States could begin to see 100,000 new cases a day (Forbes)
Rand Paul’s Coronavirus Correction: “We Just Need More Optimism” (Daily Beast)