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Rand Paul To Federal Health Officials: ‘We Shouldn’t Presume That A Group Of Experts Someh

“Perhaps our government experts might hold their tongue before expressing their opinion,” the senator said Tuesday.
Continue reading on Forbes

TOPLINE

Sen. Rand Paul aggressively questioned the guidance of federal health experts at a Senate committee hearing Tuesday, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, arguing that Americans “just need more optimism,” despite the fact there are currently more than 2.6 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the U.S., resulting in more than 125,000 deaths.

KEY FACTS

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and other top health officials testified before the Senate health committee on the state of the pandemic. 

Fauci warned that the country was headed in the “wrong direction,” and he would “not be surprised” if new cases in the U.S. surged to 100,000 per day.

Paul, a Republican senator from Kentucky, pushed back forcefully at the health officials, whom he called government “central planners.”

“It’s important to realize that if society meekly submits to an expert and that expert is wrong, a great deal of harm may occur,” Paul said. “We shouldn’t presume that a group of experts somehow knows what’s best for everyone.”

Paul, who was the first member of the Senate to test positive for the coronavirus in March, suggested government health experts “show caution in their prognostications” and cede some authority.

Or else, the senator warned, citizens would become a “herd with a couple of people in Washington telling us what to do, and we like sheep blindly follow.”

Paul, who emphatically argued that schools should reopen, was explicitly critical of Fauci, declaring that the doctor’s remarks created “undue fear” throughout the country.

“All I hear, Dr. Fauci, is, ‘We can’t do this, we can’t do that. We can’t play baseball,'” said Paul.

Key Background:

Tuesday was not the first time that these two have quarreled on Capitol Hill. Paul challenged Fauci during a previous congressional hearing last month concerning the U.S. economy’s eventual reopening. “I think we ought to have a little bit of humility in our belief that we know what’s best for the economy, and as much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don’t think you’re the end-all,” Paul said. “I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make the decision. We can listen to your advice, but there are people on the other side saying there’s not going to be a surge, and then we can safely open the economy. And the facts will bear this out.” Fauci defended himself by replying that he “never made [myself] out to be the end-all and only voice in this,” adding that he was one of many doctors who weighed in on the topic.

Tangent:

Last month, regarding the reopening of schools, Fauci said, “We better be careful, if we are not cavalier, in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects” of Covid-19. However, in response to Paul’s impassioned plea on Tuesday, Fauci, while still expressing caution, told the senator, “I feel very strongly we need to do whatever we can to get the children back to school. I think we’re in lock agreement with that.” After Fauci finished his response, Paul said, “Thank you,” and added, “we just need more optimism.”

Further Reading:

Fauci responds to Rand Paul: ‘I have never made myself out to be the end-all’ (CNN)

Fauci Tells Congress U.S. Could Start Seeing 100,000 New Cases A Day (Forbes)  

Rand Paul’s Coronavirus Fix: ‘We Just Need More Optimism’ (Daily Beast)

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