Fauci clashes with Rand Paul over masks

A mostly congenial Senate hearing turned confrontational Thursday, when the nation’s top infectious diseases doctor Anthony Fauci clashed with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) over the need for people to continue wearing masks once they’ve already been infected with or vaccinated against COVID-19.

“You’re telling everyone to wear a mask,” Paul said. “If we’re not spreading the infection, isn’t it just theater? You have the vaccine and you’re wearing two masks, isn’t that theater?”

“Here we go again with the theater,” an exasperated Fauci responded. “Let’s get down to the facts.”

Paul, who was infected with COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic last March, has said he is immune to future infection. As a result, he refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol and has declared he does not need to be vaccinated.

Fauci tried to explain the need for precautions because of more contagious variants, in addition to the fact that most of the country has not yet been vaccinated yet.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance states that those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should still wear a mask in public, especially as we’re still learning how well vaccines prevent people from spreading COVID-19.

Not just Rand Paul: Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) also doesn’t see the need for vaccinated people to keep wearing masks.