Senator Rand Paul (R—Ky) delivered false information and misleading claims surrounding the novel coronavirus in a new interview, wrongly stating Covid-19 survivors were immune to the virus while encouraging them to forego social distancing measures.
Speaking to Fox News, the senator encouraged the 11 million Americans who have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began earlier this year to “celebrate” by no longer using the personal protective equipment that doctors have cited as having saved tens of thousands of lives across the country.
Mr Paul said the nation’s leaders should urge Americans who have already contracted Covid-19 to essentially abandon safety measures: “We should tell them to throw away their masks, go to restaurants, live again, because these people are now immune.”
There is no evidence to indicate coronavirus survivors are immune to the disease caused by the novel virus. Furthermore, there is no evidence that survivors cannot pass on the virus to others.
Scientists are still learning the complexities surrounding the coronavirus that has killed almost 250,000 Americans so far, including how much time after contracting the virus patients were typically still able to spread Covid-19.
Mr Paul was not corrected when he made the misleading claims, before he then went on to attack the nation’s leading epidemiologist, Dr Anthony Fauci, who has served on the White House coronavirus response task force.
He claimed the scientist “doesn’t want to admit” that coronavirus survivors were immune — though, again, he provided no evidence to back such assertions.
“Dr. Fauci is like ‘Oh, woe is me’ until the election occurs,” he said. “But now maybe he’ll be changing his attitude.”
Dr Fauci and the Republican senator have sparred on multiple occaisions, with the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease having corrected Mr Paul over his misleading claims about herd immunity.
After the senator claimed without evidence during a committee hearing that cases in New York may not have been rising due to the state allegedly developing herd immunity, the doctor shot back: “No, you’ve misconstrued that, senator, and you’ve done that repeatedly in the past.”