Senator Rand Paul told Anthony Fauci during a senate hearing on Tuesday that scientists should “have a little bit of humility” because they do not understand what is best for the economy.
In response, Fauci claimed that he “doesn’t give advice about anything other than public health.”
Sen. Paul critized Fauci during Tuesday’s Senate coronavirus response oversight hearing.
“I think we ought to have a little bit of humility in our belief that we know what’s best for the economy,” Paul said. “And as much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don’t think you’re the end-all. I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make a decision.”
Senator Paul, who caught the virus and quickly recovered, said that he believes there are ways to slow the spread while keeping the economy going.
.@RandPaul to Fauci today:
“I don’t think you are the end all, I don’t think you’re the one person who gets to make a decision. We can listen to your advice but there are people on the other side saying there’s not going to be a surge & that we can safely reopen the economy.” pic.twitter.com/FwFlnPCywK
— Courtney Holland 🇺🇸 (@hollandcourtney) May 12, 2020
“We’re opening up a lot of economies around the U.S., and I hope that people who are predicting doom and gloom and saying, ‘Oh, we can’t do this’ … will admit that they were wrong if there isn’t a surge because I think that’s what’s going to happen,” Paul added.
The Kentucky senator added that they have had fewer deaths in his state than they do during a normal flu season.
“In rural states — we never really reached any sort of pandemic levels in Kentucky and other states. We have less deaths in Kentucky than we have in an average flu season.”
In response, Fauci said “I have never made myself out to be the end all, and only voice in this. I’m a scientist, a physician, and a public health official. I give advice according to the best scientific evidence.”
Sen. Paul had also noted that the infection rate is low in children, so it may be time to consider reopening schools, which Fauci pushed back on.
“We really better be very careful, particularly when it comes to children, because the more and more we learn, we’re seeing things the virus can do that we didn’t see from the studies in China, or in Europe,” Fauci said. “You’re right, in the numbers that children, in general, do much much better than adults and the elderly, and particularly those with underlying conditions, but I am very careful and hopefully humble that I don’t know everything about this disease, and that’s why I’m very reserved in making broad predictions,” Fauci said.