Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blasted Dr. Anthony Fauci in a Sunday tweet after the infectious diseases expert said that schools should be open amid the coronavirus pandemic.
During a Sunday interview on ABC's "This Week," Fauci said that the government's "default position" should be to keep children in school — but close bars.
"If you look at the data," he explained during the interview, "the spread among children and from children is not very big at all, not like one would have suspected. So let's try to get the kids back. But let's try to mitigate the things that maintain and push the kind of community spread we are trying to avoid. And those are the things you know well. The bars, the restaurants ... those are the things that drive the community spread. Not the schools."
What are the details?
Following Fauci's remarks, conservative activist Jack Posobiec tweeted, "Dr Fauci owes @RandPaul an apology."
Paul immediately took notice and added his own two cents.
Indeed, in July, Paul took Fauci to task during a Senate hearing regarding school closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the hearing, an incensed Paul accused Fauci of politicizing the coronavirus pandemic and the government's response to mitigate the effects.
"When are we gonna tell the people the truth?" Paul asked. "That it's OK to take their kids back to school. Dr. Fauci, every day, virtually every day we seem to hear from you things we can't do. But when you're asked, 'Can we go back to school?' I don't hear much certitude at all, I hear, 'Well maybe it depends.'"
"All of this body of evidence about schools around the world shows there's no surge," he continued. "All of the evidence shows it's rare. I mean, we're so politicized this and made it politically correct that the WHO releases that it's rare, you have a scientist up there honestly giving her opinion. What happens to her? She's blackballed and her report that she refers to is taken off the website!"
Paul wasn't finished there.
"When you go to that scientist's speech and you try to click on the link, the WHO has now screened it from us because it said something that's not politically correct. Guess what?" he exclaimed. "It's rare for kids to transmit this. But I hear nothing of that coming from you! All I hear, Dr. Fauci, is 'We can't do this, we can't do that, we can't play baseball.' Even that's not based on the science! I mean flu season peaks in February, we don't know if COVID is gonna be like the flu season, it might, but we don't know that!"
Fauci responded by saying that he agreed with much of what the Kentucky Republican had to say.
"So very quickly, Senator Paul, I agree with a lot of what you say about you know, this idea about people having to put their opinions out without data," he began. "And sometimes you have to make extrapolations because you're in a position where you need to at least give some sort of recommendation."
"But if you were listening, and I think you were, to my opening statement and my response to one of the questions, I feel very strongly we need to do whatever we can to get the children back to school," he continued. "So I think we are in lock agreement with that."