Paul, a doctor of ophthalmology who has clashed with the Brooklyn immunologist in Senate hearings multiple times in recent months, told Fox News Fauci’s declaration was just the latest example of his self-important view of himself.
“When a government bureaucrat has the audacity and the arrogance to say they represent all of science, we should be running the other way,” he told host Pete Hegseth. “It conjures up images of the Medieval Church and their repression of science. Science has nothing to do with having obedience to any kind of government dogma.”
Paul said Americans should, however, listen closely to Fauci as most of his public comments and requests are not principally scientific:
“He isn’t talking about a study on this or a study on that. He is talking about ‘wear a mask.’ When you talk about peer-reviewed study of masks, one done in Denmark showed [masking edicts] didn’t work,” the Republican lawmaker said.
Paul added that in Sweden, 1.8 million children did not wear masks for the past two years and that there have been “zero” COVID infections among them, with a relatively small rate among their classroom educators.
“It turned out the teachers are infected the same rate as the rest of the public,” he said, adding that Fauci’s proclamations are instead public policy and not scientific prescriptions.
On Sunday, Fauci told CBS that critics of government mandates offer a “distinctive anti-science flavor” in their objections.
“If they get up and criticize science, nobody is going to know what they’re talking about. But if they get up and really aim their bullets at Tony Fauci, well, people could recognize there is a person there,” he said.
“So it’s easy to criticize. But they are really criticizing science. Because I represent science.”
Earlier this year, Paul asked Fauci under oath if he would like to retract previous testimony to the Senate on NIH support for gain-of-function experimentation in Wuhan, China, where coronavirus originated.
Fauci instead claimed Paul did “not know what [he] is talking about” and the pair continue to have a contentious relationship.
In November, Paul told Fauci in another hearing that his agency scrubbed a reference to gain of function from its website and that the bureaucrat’s “protestations… have worn thin” with the public.