Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) grilled Dr. Anthony Fauci at Thursday’s COVID hearing in the Senate and accused Dr. Fauci of parading around in two masks for “theater” and “show” after receiving a coronavirus vaccine.
Fauci claimed that vaccines and natural immunity did not protect against other COVID-19 variants.
Senator Rand Paul expressed his frustration at Dr. Fauci’s prediction that Americans may need to wear masks until 2022 and cited a study that found no symptomatic reinfections, and another that showed natural infection would prevent the vast majority of people from being hospitalized from the virus for years to come.
“You’re telling everybody to wear a mask whether they’ve had infection or had a vaccine. What I’m saying is they have immunity and everybody agrees they have immunity,” Senator Paul told Dr. Fauci.
“What studies do you have that people who have had the vaccine or had infection are spreading the infection? If we’re not spreading the infection, isn’t it just theater? You’ve had the vaccine and you’re wearing two masks, isn’t that theater?” the Kentucky Senator wondered.
“Here we go again with the theater, let’s get down to the facts,” Dr. Fauci responded. “…When you talk about reinfection and you don’t keep in the concept of variants, that’s an entirely different ballgame. That’s a good reason for a mask,” he said. Continued Below
Fauci pointed to a South African study by Johnson and Johnson that found those who had been infected with the “wild-type” COVID-19, meaning the original strain, had “no protection” when exposed to variants, Fox News reported.
“I agree with you that you very likely would have protection from wild-type for at least six months,” Dr. Fauci told Senator Paul.
Senator Paul argued that there was “no evidence” of significant reinfections of Covid-19 after infection or vaccine, adding he didn’t believe there had been any hospitalizations after the two-week period following full vaccination. Video Below
“You’re not hearing what I’m saying about variants. We’re talking about wild type versus variants,” Dr. Fauci told Senator Paul.
“What study has found reinfection with severe symptoms with variants? You’re making policy based on conjecture,” Senator Paul said. “You’ve been vaccinated and you parade around in two masks for show. You’re defying everything we know about immunity by telling people to wear a mask that have been vaccinated.”’
“You want to get rid of vaccine hesitancy? Tell them they can quit wearing their mask after they get a vaccine,” he added, “instead of telling them the nanny state’s going to be there for three more years and you’ve got to wear a mask forever. People don’t want to hear it and there’s no science behind it.”
Watch the full exchange:
Sen. @RandPaul: "If we're not spreading the infection, isn't it just theater? You have the vaccine and you're wearing two masks, isn't that theater?
Dr. Anthony Fauci: "Here we go again with the theater. Let's get down to the facts."
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 18, 2021
As reported by Fox News:
A new study by the New York Blood Center found that all three FDA-approved vaccines show efficacy against COVID-19 variants.
“Our analysis finds that there is more than enough evidence to support that the vaccines will work against mutated forms of COVID-19,” the authors of the study, published in Science Magazine, wrote. They added that the efficacy of the vaccine needs to be reevaluated as new strains emerge.
However, a study by the New England Journal of Medicine found that all three vaccines showed significantly reduced efficacy against the South Africa B.1.351 variant.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has told drug makers they will need to prove the vaccine produces a strong immune response against variants.