Dr. Anthony Fauci slapped down Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a former ophthalmologist with dubious qualifications, for “repeatedly” misrepresenting coronavirus data to support politically motivated attacks during a Senate hearing Wednesday. When Paul asked why Fauci is a “big fan” of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo despite the state having one of the world’s worst death rates, Fauci shot back, “No, you misconstrued that senator and you’ve done that repeatedly in the past.” He said New York got hit badly and “made some mistakes” but they now have a 1 percent test positivity rate by following CDC guidelines on face masks, social distancing, outdoor activity and washing hands. “Or they’ve developed enough community immunity,” Paul quipped.
Fauci demanded he be given more time to reply “because this happens with Sen. Paul all the time.” “You are not listening to what the director of the CDC said that in New York it’s about 22 per cent [community immunity],” Fauci said. “If you believe 22 per cent is herd immunity, I believe you’re alone in that.”
Earlier, Paul asked a rambling question, claiming that contradictory death rates in places like Hong Kong, Sweden and the U.S. showed that “authoritarian mandates” had no impact on virus-related deaths. “Is man really capable of altering the course of infectious disease through crowd control? The statistics answer a resounding no,” he said. Fauci replied that the death rate in Sweden, where lockdowns were not widespread, is far higher than comparable Scandinavian nations. Paul also claimed that research on pre-existing immunity showed New York had a higher natural immunity than Fauci suggested. However, the infectious diseases expert said the latest research showed pre-existing immunity to coronaviruses like the common cold don’t cross react with COVID-19.