On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) continued his dispute with the nation’s top infectious diseases specialist, Anthony Fauci, by questioning whether or not children who have been exposed to COVID-19 should be vaccinated.
Paul played a C-SPAN clip of Fauci from 2004 during a Congressional hearing on the administration’s handling of monkeypox. In the video, Fauci tells a person who already has the flu that they don’t need to get a flu shot.
As Dr. Fauci said in the video, “the best vaccination would be to get infected yourself, so if you got the flu and had it for 14 days, you would be as protected as anyone.”
Paul then asked Fauci why his advice to vaccinate kids even if they’ve already been afflicted with the coronavirus was different from what he’d said about the flu.
“By rejecting the idea that a prior infection confers immunity, you are denying the very underlying principle of immunology,” Paul remarked. “Many people are wary of getting vaccinated because of the confusing information you provide. You are ignoring the evidence presented by scientists.”
In response, Fauci claimed that Paul was misinterpreting his comments and presented a Reuters fact check stating that Fauci’s statements regarding the flu in the discussion did not conflict with his COVID-19 outbreaks stance.
“A fundamental tenet of immunology is not something I have ever denied,” Fauci retorted, “I wrote the section in the textbook of medicine on basic immunology.” A previous infection, he said, is a very potent way to be protected, but vaccination provides an added, extra boost on top of that.
Paul shifted gears and began attacking Fauci over vaccine royalties and the potential conflicts of interest of anyone serving on the agency committees that vote to authorize vaccines.
“We’ve asked whether any members of the vaccine advisory boards collect royalties from the pharmaceutical industry, but you’ve been silent. You were asked previously; what did you say? ‘We don’t have to tell you,’” Paul said.
Smash the ♥️ if you love seeing Dr. Fauci destroying Rand Paul. Again.
— Trending Liberal (@TrendingLiberal) September 14, 2022
In June, Paul and Fauci argued over the same issue when Fauci explained that, per the law, royalty recipients are not obligated to disclose their earnings.
It’s no secret that many on the right now view Fauci as a villainous political lightning rod. His portrayal as a scapegoat for the nation’s failures during the pandemic by conservative media outlets. He will retire from public service after more than 50 years at the end of this year.
He has been at odds with Paul and other Republicans in Congress, who have been enthusiastically discussing inquiries into the Biden administration’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak in anticipation of regaining control of the House or Senate in November’s midterms.
On Wednesday, Paul threatened to take the same step.
“But I tell you this: When we take over, we will amend the regulations so that you are required to disclose the source of your royalties and we will find out if any members of the committee have any conflicts of interest,” Paul said