LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — In a one-on-one conversation with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, LEX 18 asked about some of the key issues facing the state.
In the ongoing debate over whether masks should be mandatory in K-12 schools, Paul has been clear on where he stands.
"Nobody's wearing masks anymore. Only the kids and who are the least vulnerable in our society, the kids for goodness sakes," said Paul.
Paul is in support of Florida Governor Ron Desantis and his decision to ban mask mandates in schools.
"In Florida, half the schools disobeyed Governor Desantis' order to not mandate masks, the other half of schools kept mandating. If you measure the incidence of the disease between the two schools, it's about the same," said Paul.
His strong stance against mask mandates is also why he's planning to force a vote in the U.S. Senate on his resolution to repeal travel mask mandates on public transportation like planes.
"If a person feels comforted by it, and they want to wear a mask or if they're at some risk, either older or overweight, by all means, they should wear a mask if that makes them feel better, but there's no reason to be forcing the rest of us. And I think the numbers look like they're dwindling every day. The good news is it seems to be going away. I think we have to push hard to get our freedoms back," said Paul.
Freedom is also something Paul is supporting for Ukraine.
"I am very sympathetic to the Ukrainians fighting to keep their country intact and fighting against the oppression and aggression of Putin. I think in the end Putin will have miscalculated the will of the Ukrainian people as well as Europe," said Paul.
However, he is not in support of the Biden administration's request for $10 billion additional dollars to assist with humanitarian aid.
"We don't have any money. I mean, we're about $30 trillion in debt this year alone will add $3 trillion in debt. So, I don't think it makes us stronger or the world stronger or the cause for freedom stronger to borrow more money. Now, I'm not opposed to selling weapons to Ukraine, but they need to buy them. I mean, we frankly just can't keep giving everybody everything all the time. And we have a lot of needs here at home. And so, I think that it's important that we are supportive, but in a fiscally responsible way," said Paul.
Paul also talked about the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which unlike the first anti-lynching bill introduced in the legislature, he will support. In 2020, Paul held up an earlier version of the bill but is now co-sponsoring the latest bill with Senators Cory Booker and Tim Scott.
"We did not want the defacement of a church graffiti to be considered a lynching. Lynching is a horrific crime and in the memory of Emmett Till, and all those others who were lynched, we shouldn't call something that's not lynching, lynching. So, we want to make sure that minor bodily harm someone pushes someone in a bar calls someone a racial name, that's bad and they should be punished. But it's not lynching, of course," said Paul. "We have to make sure that the punishment is proportional to the crime. In the end, we think we got the wording of the bill right."