Senator Rand Paul brought a rare moment of reason and sanity to the questioning and testimony of White House coronavirus task force member, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Tuesday.
While the media have propped Fauci up as the only authority on what is the right and wrong path regarding opening up the economy, Paul – himself a physician – questioned past predictions and explained that “one-size-fits-all” lockdowns are “kind of ridiculous.”
Paul (R-KY) suggested matters of the economy have to be taken into account, especially in areas not drastically affected by the pandemic.
“It’s not to say this isn’t deadly,” he observed, “but really, outside of New England, we’ve had a relatively benign course for this virus nationwide.”
Not the End-All
The media takeaway will be Fauci’s declaration that opening up the economy too soon may lead to “serious” consequences. They won’t provide context for opening up in hotspots like New York City as opposed to rural areas.
“There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you might not be able to control, which, in fact, paradoxically, will set you back, not only leading to some suffering and death that could be avoided, but could even set you back on the road to trying to get economic recovery,” Fauci stated.
“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.”
In fact, Paul says he doesn’t believe there will be a surge.
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“We’re opening up a lot of economies around the U.S., and I hope that people who are predicting doom and gloom, will admit that they were wrong if there isn’t a surge,” he added. “Because I think that’s what’s going to happen.”
“I give advice according to the best scientific evidence”: Dr. Anthony Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul argued Tuesday during a Senate hearing over the impact of the coronavirus on children and the decision to reopen schools while Fauci testified to the Senate https://t.co/CrtBnaGkxK pic.twitter.com/05VNNTa66x
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 12, 2020
Paul also pointed out that models and predictions have been consistently wrong, making it absurd to rely on them as a means to dictate how to handle the economy.
“I think that one-size-fits-all, that we’re gonna have a national strategy and nobody’s gonna go to school, is kind of ridiculous,” he said. “We really ought to be doing it school district by school district, and the power needs to be dispersed, because, people make wrong predictions.”
“And really, the history of this, when we look back, will be of wrong prediction after wrong prediction after wrong prediction, starting with Ferguson in England.”
The Senator if referring to Neil Ferguson, a British academic whose wild prediction of 2.2 million American deaths due to coronavirus influenced some American lock-down policies.
Fauci concluded the back-and-forth with Paul by saying, “I never made myself out to be the end-all and only voice in this, I’m a scientist, a physician, and a public health official.”
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