During a Senate hearing Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of engaging in mask “theater” after the infectious disease expert showed up wearing not one, but two masks. Paul pointed out that a recent British study showed that after having Covid-19, there are not significant numbers of symptomatic reinfections of the disease. The research, he said, shows evidence of long-term immunity after a Covid-19 infection.
Paul asked Fauci to cite specific studies that have concluded that members of the public who have had the disease, or have been vaccinated, should still be wearing masks well into 2022.
“If we’re not spreading the infection, isn’t it just theater?” the Kentucky Republican asked Fauci. “If you’ve had the vaccine and you’re wearing two masks, isn’t that theater?”
“No, it’s not — here we go again with the theater,” Fauci replied wearily. “Let’s get down to the facts.” The NIAID director claimed that the studies Paul cited only “look at in vitro examination of memory immunity” and that the authors of the studies “specifically say, ‘This does not necessarily pertain to the actual protection. It’s in vitro.”
Fauci added: “The other thing is, 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.”
Skeptical, Paul accused Fauci of “making policy based on conjecture.”
“You’ve been vaccinated, and you parade around in two masks for show,” said Paul, who is an ophthalmologist. “You want people to get the vaccine, give them a reward instead of telling them that the nanny state is going to be there for three more years and you got to wear a mask forever. People don’t want to hear it, and there’s no science behind it,” Paul said.
“Let me just state for the record that masks are not theater. Masks are protective,” Fauci shot back defensively.
“If you have immunity, they are theater. If you already have immunity, you’re wearing a mask to give comfort to others,” Paul argued.
“I totally disagree with you,” Fauci said.
Sen. @RandPaul questions Dr. Fauci on requiring vaccinated Americans to continue wearing masks:
“What studies do you have that people who have had the vaccine are spreading the infection? If we’re not spreading the infection, isn’t it just theater?”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 18, 2021
Joe Biden meanwhile on Thursday referred to his vice president as “President Harris” during his address touting the administration’s efforts to get 100 million Americans vaccinated “with fairness and equity.”
“When President Harris and I took a virtual tour of a vaccination center in Arizona not long ago, one of the nurses on that tour injecting people—getting people vaccinations—said that each shot was like a dose of hope,” Biden said, in what some might call a “Freudian slip.”
“Behind these 100 million shots, are millions of lives changed when people receive that dose of hope,” Biden said.
Biden refers to Kamala Harris as "President Harris"pic.twitter.com/ErAniDS5eG
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 18, 2021
After concluding his scripted remarks, Biden ignored reporters’ shouted questions, and hurried away from the podium.
Another day, another event where Joe Biden ignores reporters and their shouted questions.
This is one of the most sheltered presidencies of all time and we're only in March. pic.twitter.com/LD925JZTFD
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) March 18, 2021