Sen. Rand Paul ripped into Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director, on Thursday, accusing him of making contradictory statements regarding the COVID-19 pandemic before and after the election.
Paul, himself an ophthalmologist, reacted to a video clip played by Fox News’ Martha MacCallum in which Fauci recently said it could “easily be by the end of 2021 and perhaps even into  before we start having some semblance of normality.”
But now that the election is over — though President Donald Trump’s campaign has not conceded and has filed legal challenges asserting voting irregularities — Fauci is claiming that “help is on the way” in the form of a new vaccine announced by Pfizer earlier week, itself controversial.
“Vaccines are going to have a major positive impact. We could just hang in there, do the public health measures that we are talking about, we are going to get this under control,” Fauci said.
“It is really a big deal,” Fauci added of the vaccine in an interview with CNN, adding “we may have doses that we’re able to give to people by the end of November, beginning of December.”
Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said he believes Fauci is probably “well-intentioned,” but he is too deferential to government solutions and actions rather than trusting Americans to behave responsibly.
“He believes that submission and lockdowns are fine,” said Paul. “He’s not too worried about individual liberties, but he also tends to gloss over the science, because we’ve had this debate back and forth about immunity.
“I’ve been saying all along that I think the children have some sort of pre-existing immunity,” Paul noted further. “The tests are now backing me up on this.”
Paul went on to note that some 11 million Americans have had COVID-19 and recovered from it, meaning they likely have some level of “immunity” and ought to “celebrate” and “live again” because of it.
“But Dr. Fauci doesn’t want to admit to any of that. Dr. Fauci is like, ‘Oh, woe is me,’ until the election occurs and now maybe he will be changing his attitude,” Paul — who has had COVID-19 — said, suggesting some of Fauci’s actions may have been politically motivated against the Trump administration.
“But the bottom line is there’s a great deal of optimism that we should have out there not just for the vaccine, but with the immunity that kids may have preexisting and with the immunity of 11 million people from having the disease,” he added.
Paul then reacted to a call for another four-to-six week national lockdown from Dr. Michael Olsterholm, the director of the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota who has been named to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s COVID-19 task force.
“It scares me to death but I think it’s consistent with their philosophy,” Paul said. “In a free society, individuals make their decisions based on risk” regarding whether to do things like wear a mask or go out in public.
“But in authoritarianism, the central authority tells you what to do and when to do it. So these are the same people who also believe in socialism, a command-and-control economy where the government dictates all of your economic behaviors,” he said.
“So, it’s not much of a stretch to think they would dictate your personal behavior as well.”
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