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Rand Paul: Take Fauci's Advice With 'Grain of Salt'

Ky. senator tries to explain tense exchange at Tuesday Senate panel hearing
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2020 6:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared remotely before a Senate panel Tuesday to testify on the pandemic, and while much of what he said was attention grabbing, there was one especially "pointed exchange," per the Week. It was between Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul, who called it "ridiculous" to talk about kids possibly not going back to to school in the fall, as kids' mortality rate from the virus "approaches zero," USA Today and CNBC report. "I don't think you're the end-all," Paul said to Fauci. "I don't think you're the one person who gets to make a decision." Per MarketWatch, Fauci pushed back, responding, "I have 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. I give advice according to the best scientific evidence." Fauci added we shouldn't be "cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects."

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Later Tuesday, Paul appeared on Fox News' The Story to elaborate. "I don't question Dr. Fauci's motives," Paul noted, adding he thinks the doctor is a "good person," but an "extremely cautious" one, and that we should take advice from health experts with "a grain of salt." "I don't think any of these experts are omniscient," he said. "I think they have a basis of knowledge, but when you prognosticate about the future or advocate for things dramatic and drastic, like closing all the schools, you should look at all the information." Later Tuesday, Paul's Twitter feed retweeted several tweets supporting his statements at the hearing, including one from GOP Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, who tweeted, "Senator @RandPaul was exactly right with his statement earlier today. We must reject the Fauci-Birx Doctrine of Destruction." (Paul now says he's able to go maskless.)

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