Dr Fauci fact-checks Rand Paul as he spews misinformation about Covid-19: ‘Here we go again with the theater’

Republican senator mocks nation’s leading health infectious expert: ‘You’ve been vaccinated and you parade around in two masks for show!’

Related: Three-foot distancing rule could come into effect in the US

Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert and a close adviser to President Joe Biden on the coronavirus pandemic, was forced to fact-check Senator Rand Paul once again. 

The two have previously clashed in heated exchanges during congressional hearings on the Covid-19 crisis, as Mr Paul frequently promotes misinformation and outright falsities about the pandemic. 

On Thursday, they were at it again as Dr Fauci called the senator out for what he described as “theater” over his objection to wearing face masks. 

The senator appeared to suggest wearing masks was no longer necessary after getting the vaccine, despite recommendations urging Americans to continue following public health measures throughout the rollout, at one point asking the epidemiologist: “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?”

A clearly exasperated Dr Fauci responded: “Here we go again with the theater. Let’s get down to the facts.”

Dr Fauci then suggested the studies Mr Paul was pointing to did not actually back his claims since they did not necessarily pertain to protection against the virus, causing the senator to interrupt with more questions. 

“Just let me finish the response to your question,” he replied to the senator. 

He went on to stress the importance of including coronavirus variants in the conversation surrounding vaccines and reopening, noting how it remained unclear if all of the FDA approved vaccinations also worked against new homegrown and international strains of the virus, which has already killed more than 535,000 Americans since last year. 

“That’s a good reason for a mask,” Dr Fauci said to Mr Paul about the emergence of new variants. 

Mr Paul continued to interrupt Dr Fauci as the doctor pointed to studies showing Covid-19 patients becoming reinfected with new variants of the virus, saying:  “You’ve been vaccinated and you parade around in two masks for show!” 

The senator is incorrect in suggesting current vaccines are effective in providing immunity to all known variants of the novel coronavirus. The CDC and other leading scientific institutions have released guidelines indicating vaccinated people should continue to follow public health measures and wear masks in spaces where they are unable to social distance.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in