Paul Asks Fauci: Do You Have ‘Second Thoughts’ About Advising U.S. Shutdown?

Date: 2020-09-23 22:55:00

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Dr. Anthony Fauci clashed Wednesday with Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky over Paul’s claim that New York’s rate of coronavirus infection is significantly down because it has achieved herd immunity.

In a heated exchange during a Senate hearing on the U.S. government’s COVID-19 response, Paul asked Fauci if he has any “second thoughts” about advising the country to shut down economically during the height of the pandemic last spring.

Fauci responded that he does not regret saying that was the only way to stop “the explosion of infection.”

Paul shot back that despite Fauci lauding New York and Gov. Andrew Cuomo for it’s response to the pandemic, the state, according to the Senator, has a death rate “among the highest in the world despite shuttering businesses and schools earlier this year.”

Fauci told Paul that he has “misconstrued” the data, adding that he’s “done that repetitively in the past.”

The nation’s top infectious disease expert said New York “made some mistakes,” early on. But he said the state has been able to get it’s positivity rate down to one percent or less because it has followed the task force’s guidelines

Paul challenged that assessment saying: “Or they’ve developed enough community immunity that they’re no longer having the pandemic because they have enough immunity in New York City to actually stop it.”

Fauci told Paul sternly that he was “not listening.”

“In New York it’s about 22 percent (of the population with COVID antibodies). If you believe 22 percent is herd immunity, I believe you’re alone in that,” Fauci said.

Paul, a libertarian, has long been critical of government lockdown measures, calling them “authoritarian.”
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