Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) slammed critics as “scientific illiterates” after he drew heat for saying Americans who have recovered from COVID-19 should “throw away their masks” and “celebrate.”
Paul appeared Thursday on Fox News and said that 11 million Americans who have recovered from COVID-19 are immune from the disease and should no longer abide by heavy-handed government restrictions designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Paul said that those Americans that have recovered from the virus are now “immune” and cannot pass on the disease.
“We have 11 million people in our country who have already had COVID. We should tell them to celebrate,” said Paul, a graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine and a licensed ophthalmologist. “We should tell them to throw away their masks, go to restaurants, live again because these people are now immune.”
Paul also took a shot at Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Paul has criticized Fauci, who had significant influence over the U.S. response to the pandemic early on, over his continued support for pandemic restrictions on people and businesses.
“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’ll be changing his attitude,” Paul said.
Rand Paul: We have 11 million people in our country who have already had COVID. We should tell them to celebrate. We should tell them to throw away their masks, go to restaurants, and live again because these people are now immune(they are not immune) pic.twitter.com/Un2CQ1b5Tg
— Acyn (@Acyn) November 13, 2020
Paul’s comments were dismissed as “irresponsible” and “unscientific,” and he was accused of contributing to the spread of the virus. Paul responded to critics in a Friday morning tweet slamming the “scientific illiterates” that are attacking his comments, noting that any potential COVID vaccine would work in much the same way as “natural immunity.”
“To all the scientific illiterates denying immunity after COVID infection, realize you are denying the science of natural immunity which is the foundation of vaccine science. (PS even Fauci admits to immunity after COVID),” Paul said.
To all the scientific illiterates denying immunity after COVID infection, realize you are denying the science of natural immunity which is the foundation of vaccine science. (PS even Fauci admits to immunity after COVID).
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) November 13, 2020
An adviser named to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s coronavirus task force has advocated for the United States to go under a four-to-six-week national lockdown. The comments by Dr. Michael Osterholm, who will presumably have some influence over the federal response to the virus should Biden win the presidency, have left many wondering if a Biden administration would attempt to put a federal lockdown in place.
Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves vowed to fight any such mandate earlier this week.
“The fact is that we’re gonna try to work with whomever the president is, but we’re not gonna participate in a nation-wide lockdown. This notion that one of his advisers has said that all we really need is about a six-week national lockdown and we can slow down the spread of this virus is totally and completely beyond reasonableness,” Reeves continued. “The people of Mississippi can’t just go home, shut down their small businesses, shut down their restaurants, shut down their gyms, shut down other small businesses for six weeks and just think that you can come back six weeks from now, flip a switch, and everything’s gonna be fine. That’s not the way the economy works.”