Dr. Anthony Fauci has received a lot of flak lately for urging states to stay closed and predicting little more than doom and gloom for the U.S. coronavirus outbreak. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) had the chance to confront him about it on Tuesday during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing.
In his opening statement, he got right to the point.
"It is a fatal conceit to believe any one person or small group of people has the knowledge necessary to direct an economy or dictate public health behavior," Sen. Paul said. "I think government health experts during the pandemic need to show caution."
Paul used children's education as an example. Experts continue to urge school closures and are "instilling fear" in teachers afraid to go back to work, despite evidence that has proven that children are not COVID-19 spreaders.
"Perhaps our planners might think twice before they weigh in on every subject," he added.
Rand Paul confronts Dr. Fauci to his face:— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) June 30, 2020
"Dr. Fauci, every day we seem to hear from you things we can’t do. But when you’re asked, can we go back to school? I don’t hear much certitude at all." pic.twitter.com/Xcr1GLG6vv
Sen. Paul wasn't all talk. Displayed behind him were graphs depicting how zero surges had been detected in European countries that had reopened schools.
Having presented his evidence, Sen. Paul very directly asked Dr. Fauci why he keeps telling Americans what they can't do.
"When are we going to tell people the truth?" Paul asked. "That's it's okay to take their kids back to school."
Dr. Fauci said he agreed with many of the senator's observations, but explained that sometimes experts need to extrapolate a bit because they have to provide "some sort of recommendations" for the public. He also said "he feels very strongly that we need to do whatever we can to get the children back to school."
And yet, the doctor did not exactly heed Sen. Paul's call for more optimism. When questioned by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Fauci said that we are "going in the wrong direction" and he expects the U.S. to soon experience more than 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day.