It is this second part of his resume that makes what he said Thursday all the more disturbing.
“I’m sort of pro-vaccine, but also pro-freedom,” said Paul when asked about the virus and a possible vaccine in an appearance promoting a new book he has co-wrote with his wife, Kelley, adding, “Look, there are millions of us like me now who are immune. Will they hold me and stick a needle in my arm? They probably will, because these people believe in the idea that they are right and that their cause is so just that they can inflict it on others. ”
I’m not a doctor and even know that a) vaccines work and are widely recognized as a good thing by the medical community and b) we just don’t know yet if having Covid-19 makes you immune against return.
Unfortunately, the same goes for Paul for the coronavirus.
Let us remember how he handled his Covid-19 case in mid-March. As I wrote at the time:
“Paul was aware as early as March 15, according to a source close to the senator who spoke to Jake Tapper of CNN, that he had potentially been exposed to the virus – during a dinner on March 7 in Louisville where two participants were subsequently tested positive. According to the source, Paul had not interacted with them, but he decided to get tested for coronavirus six or seven days ago. As early as Sunday morning, the Kentucky Republican was training at the Senate gymnasium …
“Paul spent six or seven days following a fairly normal routine – sitting in meetings with fellow senators, going to the gym (!) – knowing a) that he could have been exposed to the virus and b) that he was awaiting the results of the coronavirus tests. ”
Good job there, Doc!
Then there are repeated Paul clashes with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases.
At a congressional hearing in May, Paul openly questioned Fauci’s expertise in decisions regarding the reopening of state economies.
“I think we have to be a little humble in our belief that we know what’s best for the economy, and as much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don’t think you are the end,” Said Paul. “I don’t think you are the only person making the decision. We can listen to your advice, but there are people on the other side who say there will be no surge, and then we can open the economy safely. And the facts will confirm it. ”
Paul’s “facts”, as evidenced by the current outbreak of cases across the country, did not, uh, “confirm that.”
Paul was there again earlier this month, berating Fauci during another Senate hearing. “Dr. Fauci, every day we seem to hear from you things that we cannot do,” said Paul. He added that:
“It is important to realize that if society obediently submits to an expert and that expert is wrong, a lot of harm can happen. Take, for example, government experts who continue to demand that schools and daycare centers remain closed or who recommend restrictions that make a school impossible to operate. ”
CNN has checked Paul’s claim and, it will daze you, he is not right.
All of this brings us back to what Paul said Thursday, which is not only untrue, but dangerously untrue.
Regarding immunity for those who have already had Covid-19, here’s what Fauci said in May: “You can make a reasonable assumption that it would be protective, but studies of natural history over a period of several months to several years will certainly tell you if this is the case. ”
And as CNN reported in April, the World Health Organization has warned that people who have had Covid-19 are not necessarily immune to the presence of antibodies to the virus.
“There is no evidence yet that people who have had Covid-19 will not get a second infection,” said WHO in a scientific memoir published at the time.
So, unless Paul is aware of some kind of evidence – chances are it is not – he simply makes claims without any facts.
Then there is his skepticism about vaccines. Here’s how he described what will happen once – I hope! – a vaccine for Covid-19 is developed: “These people believe in the idea that they are right and that their cause is so right that they can inflict it on others. ”
Uh no. When it comes to the effectiveness (and societal benefits) of vaccines, I’m much more likely to listen to CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Here’s what he wrote about it in 2015:
“The benefit of vaccines is not a matter of opinion. It is a question of fact.
« Studies, including a meta-analysis of 1.2 million children in 2014, show no link between vaccines and autism. It is not a matter of opinion. It is a question of fact.
“That you are 100 times more likely to be hit by lightning than having a severe allergic reaction the vaccine that protects you from measles is not a matter of opinion. It is also a question of fact. ”
There are currently many anti-vaxxer and coronavirus conspiracy theorists in American life. We do not need an American senator and a doctor to be in their ranks.