Kentucky's junior senator defended himself against Fauci's knowledge on masks and COVID-19 about as well as he defended himself against his neighbor.
March 19, 2021

We all know Rand Paul isn't a real doctor, right? So when he talks words about immunity and variants and stuff, he might as well be talking about how to make a good sourdough or how to win a fist fight with, oh, I don't know, an angry neighbor. That's how much he knows.

This was more than clear to all who had the misfortune of witnessing this painful exchange between him and Dr. Anthony Fauci — an actual physician and the nation's top virologist, in fact — about why wearing masks is still critical to reducing the numbers of people who get COVID-19. Paul's entire argument relied on the concept that if folks were vaccinated, or had survived the illness, they needn't ever wear a mask again. He based this on the low numbers of reinfections, completely ignoring the fact that masks are worn to protect OTHERS, not one's self. Nor does he consider variants (a big word, I know) of the virus, which are sure to multiply if people (1) refuse the vaccine, and (2) refuse to wear masks.


"Given no scientific studies have shown significant numbers of reinfections of patients previously infected, or previously vaccinated, what specific studies do you cite to argue that the public should be wearing masks well into 2022?" drawled an actual physician's son.

"I'm not sure I understand the connection of what you're saying about masks and reinfection. We're talking about people who have never been infected before," replied Dr. Fauci.

"You're telling everybody to wear a mask, whether they've had an infection or a vaccine. What i'm saying is they have immunity, and everybody agrees they have immunity," Paul said, as if he knew what the f*ck he was talking about. "What studies do you have that people who have had the vaccine or have had the infection are spreading the infection? If we're not spreading the infection, isn't it just theater?"

Theater. Rand Paul wouldn't know theater if the entire cast of Hamilton visited him at his home and somehow he ended up with, Oh, I don't know, a few broken ribs.

"No, it's not," our actual doctor responded.

"You've had the vaccine, and you're wearing two masks. Isn't that theater?" Paul insisted.

A clearly exasperated Dr. Fauci responded, "Here we go again with the theater. Let's get down to the facts. The studies that you quote from Croddy look at in vitro examination of memory immunity, which, in their paper, they specifically say this does not necessarily pertain to the actual protection. It's in vitro."

Paul interrupted demanding studies showing reinfection, and Dr. Fauci said, "Just let me finish the response to your question, please. The other thing is when you talk about reinfection and you don't keep in the concept of variants, that's an entirely different ball game. That's a good reason for a mask." In other words, the vaccine (or having survived the current "wild type" of COVID-19) doesn't mean you're protected from whatever variants might emerge.

Senator Jehri Curl Struggle kept insisting the only matter at hand was reinfection and mask-wearing, and Dr. Fauci kept trying to patiently set him straight, though clearly he'd have rather been performing his own appendectomy than sitting through another conversation with this lunatic.

"You're not hearing what I'm saying about variants. We're talking about wild type versus variants," Dr. Fauci said.

Sigh. It's okay, Dr. Fauci. At least half of the nation feels your pain.

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