Sen. Rand Paul: Fauci Engaging in Political 'Theater' Over Masks

rand paul speaks at hearing

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill on March 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images)

Sen. Rand Paul, a day after squaring off against Dr. Anthony Fauci during a contentious Senate hearing, Friday continued to accuse the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of engaging in political "theater" by asking Americans to keep wearing masks after they have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

"The science of vaccines is that when you get an infection or you get the vaccination you develop immunity and yet (he) keeps moving the goalposts and saying well you might get this variant from South Africa," the Kentucky Republican said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends."

His comments come after Paul argued during the Thursday committee hearing with Fauci, who is now President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser and has led the NIAID for almost 40 years, that he keeps wearing masks even though he's had his vaccines to bolster his argument that people should continue to mask up.

"What studies do you have that people that have had the vaccine or have had the infection are spreading the infection?" Paul asked Fauci in the hearing. "If we’re not spreading the infection, isn’t it just theater?"

Fauci retorted that "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."

On Friday, Paul, an ophthalmologist, commented that the question is about whether the millions of Americans who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 have their immunity, and if they do, why they should wear masks. 

"My point to him is, show us the evidence," said Paul. "Show us the scientific evidence that people who have already had COVID or people that have already gotten the vaccine are getting it again."

The science of vaccines, he added, comes from the basis of when one gets an infection or a vaccination, that person develops immunity. 

"Yet he's moving the goal post and saying well, you might get this variant from South Africa," said Paul. "My point to him is to show us the evidence. Show us the scientific evidence that people who have already had COVID or people who have already had the vaccine are getting it again. If they're getting it in large numbers and getting ill and going to the hospital and dying we should know that, but it's not true. It's his conjecture."

Under that reasoning, Paul added, that is like saying "well, we might get the Spanish flu, so maybe we should wear the mask until the Spanish flu comes back. It's a ridiculous notion not based on science, and what he is doing is theater and it goes against the science of vaccines."

But Fauci, who has immunity, can't get COVID-19 again, Paul argued, "but he's wearing a mask because it's one of his noble lies to convince everybody to wear masks, but it's not true. If you've been vaccinated, you don't need to wear a mask."

Meanwhile, Paul said he's not against the COVID vaccinations, because that is the way toward the pandemic coming to an end, along with natural immunity. 

"Once you are vaccinated, you're two weeks out from the second dose, you are safe, and there's no record so far of anybody being hospitalized or dying that's been vaccinated," Paul said. "There's also no record of people who have gotten in naturally being reinfected and being hospitalized or dying, so what we have is that it's very very safe once you've had the vaccine, very very safe once you've had the infection and we should be getting that reward. In fact, it should be an incentive to people to go out and get vaccinated."

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