Sen. Rand Paul to Dr. Fauci: 'I don't think you're the end-all' for coronavirus decisions

Posted at 2:44 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 15:58:18-04

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul clashed with Dr. Anthony Fauci during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing Tuesday.

During the hearing, focused on "Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School," Paul told Dr. Fauci he is not the "end-all" when it comes to decisions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Paul said states should not defer to Dr. Fauci on when to reopen without any considerations for economic impact and local conditions.

"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. I don't think you're the one person that gets to make a decision."

The Kentucky senator called for power to be disbursed as much as possible among states instead of instituting a "one-size-fits-all" approach to reopen America.

Fauci said his recommendations do not extend beyond science and public health.

"I'm a scientist, a physician, and a public health official," said Dr. Fauci. "I give advice according to the best scientific evidence…I don't give advice
about economic things. I don't give advice about anything other than public health."

Dr. Fauci also warned against claims that children are immune to coronavirus.

"You're right in the numbers that children, in general, do much, much better than adults and the elderly and particularly those with underlying conditions," Fauci concluded. "But I am very careful, and hopefully, humble in knowing that I don't know everything about this disease."

Sen. Paul is the only U.S. senator to test positive for COVID-19.