On Wednesday, top health expert and White House advisor on coronavirus Dr. Anthony Fauci rebuked Senator Rand Paul at a hearing over his comment that New York’s COVID-19 infection rate is low because the population has achieved herd immunity. Dr. Fauci ended up saying to the Republican lawmaker that he’s “not listening.”
In a discussion during the Senate hearing on the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Paul claimed that New York’s death rate is one of the highest globally despite halting business and school operations early on this year to control the spread of the coronavirus.
The Kentucky U.S. senator also compared New York’s response from that of Sweden’s, which decided to keep their economy open despite the pandemic. According to public health experts, Sweden’s susceptible population had paid the price for it. He also said that New York has gone into herd immunity from the COVID-19 virus and is “no longer having the pandemic.”
The senator accused Dr. Fauci of being a “big fan” of the Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the decision to implement a “shutdown” in New York despite its high rate of coronavirus deaths. According to Sen. Paul, evidence suggests that the lockdown did not flatten the curve in New York.
Dr. Fauci responded that the senator had misconstrued the facts during the Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing. He added that the senator has “done that repeatedly in the past.”
According to Dr. Fauci, Sweden got mishit because they made mistakes. In New York City, coronavirus guidelines created by the task force have been implemented. These include social distancing, avoiding crowds, wearing masks, washing hands, and staying indoors, said by the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Fauci also challenged the senator’s claim that New York has achieved herd immunity, with around 22% of its residents who have likely been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. According to top World Health Organization officials, about 60-80% of New York’s population needs a vaccine or acquire antibodies against the virus through natural infection to reach herd immunity.
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, said earlier during the hearing that more than 90% of the U.S. population remains susceptible to coronavirus. The COVID-19 virus has spread across the nation at various rates since the first case in January. It has infected around 15 to 20 percent of the population in some states.
Dr. Fauci then tells Sen. Paul that the senator is not listening to what the CDC director has said. He added that if Sen. Paul believes that the 22% COVID-19 cases in New York are herd immunity.
“I believe you’re alone in that.”Dr. Anthony Fauci told Senator Rand Paul