During a tense exchange on Capitol Hill, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Tuesday blasted the nation’s top public health experts for their lack of optimism during the unprecedented, highly lethal, and surging coronavirus pandemic.
“We need to not be so presumptuous that we know everything,” the Kentucky Republican said during an impassioned plea to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions about the need for schools to reopen. He went on to call America’s public health community “fatally” arrogant.
“Perhaps our planners might think twice before they weigh in on every subject,” Paul added. “Perhaps our government experts might hold their tongue before expressing their opinion.”
Paul specifically berated Dr. Anthony Fauci—the public face of the White House’s coronavirus response and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases—for his recent statements on spectator sports, herd immunity, and other subjects. Though Fauci had couched his words in caveats, he said that “it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall” and that, even with a working vaccine, herd immunity might be difficult to accomplish if Americans aren’t willing to take it.
But Paul said such statements have caused “undue fear” in pockets of the country and cautioned the public not to trust the words of top infectious disease professionals in the country, saying: “We shouldn’t presume that a group of experts somehow knows what’s best for everyone.”
“We just need more optimism,” Paul added.
"We just need more optimism." Because that will scare off the virus.....
I listened to the whole 7 minute exchange. Paul's point seems to be related to school openings, for which he says there is solid evidence but against which there is apparently the weight of "expert opinion". On that subject, he thinks the "expert opinion" should be revisited. And when data is sparse, he thinks we should choose to be slightly more optimistic rather than instill as much fear as possible.
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