Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) challenged National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Anthony Fauci in a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
Paul, a medical doctor by profession, encouraged Fauci to focus more on restarting the American economy, which has taken a massive blow since lockdown measures were implemented across the country.
“I think we ought to have a little bit of humility 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’re the end-all,” Paul said.
“I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make the decision,” Paul added. “We can listen to your advice but there are people on the other side saying there’s not going to be a surge and then we can safely open the economy, and the facts will bear this out.”
Fauci denied trying to dictate U.S. policy by advocating more stringent lockdown measures.
“I have never made myself out to be the end all and only voice in this,” Fauci stated. “I’m a scientist, a physician and a public health official.”
Paul noted earlier in his remarks that the disease seemed not to affect young people, with very few deaths under 45.
“The mortality between 0 and 18 in the New York data approaches zero. It’s not going to be absolutely zero, but it almost approaches zero,” Paul said. “Between 18 and 45, the mortality in New York was 10 out of 100,000. So, really, we do need to be thinking about that.”
Fauci has previously clashed with his boss, President Donald Trump, who like Paul, has advocated for ending lockdown measures and liberating the American people.