Rand Paul urges Fauci: Let kids go back to school

By WND Staff

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., directs remarks to Dr. Anthony Fauci at a Senate hearing June 30, 2020 (Video screenshot)

In a hearing Tuesday, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., challenged the ability of “central planners” overseeing the response to the coronavirus pandemic to make decisions such as when children should go back to school.

“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,” he said, referencing the book by the famous Austrian economist and political philosopher Friedrich Hayek, “The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism.”

“I think government experts need to show caution in their prognostications,” Paul told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

The committee’s guest panel featured White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield and Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

Fauci said he wouldn’t be surprised if the number of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. rises to 100,000 a day.

The Kentucky senator, a practicing physician, said it’s “important to realize that if society meekly submits to an expert and that expert is wrong, a great deal of harm may occur when we allow one man’s policy or one group of small men and women to be foisted on an entire nation.”

“Take for example government experts who continue to call for schools and day care to stay closed or that recommend restrictions that make it impossible for a school to function. There are examples from all across the United States and around the world that show that young children rarely spread the virus,” he said.

Paul cited success in nine nations, including Denmark, France and Germany.

“No spike when schools are opened. Central planners have enough knowledge somehow to tell a nation of some 330 million people what they can and can’t do,” he said.

Hoover Institution fellow Dr. Scott Atlas said the same in an interview Monday night with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, insisting there is “no science behind having children not attend schools.”

Paul said Americans “shouldn’t presume that a group of experts somehow knows what’s best for everyone.”

“Only decentralized power and decision-making based on millions of individualized situations can arrive at what risk and behaviors each individual will choose,” he said. “That’s what America was founded on, not a herd with Washington telling us what to do and like sheep we blindly follow.”

Paul pressed Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on his equivocation about whether or not children should go back to school.

“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. ‘Well, maybe. It depends.’

“Guess what? It’s rare for kids to transmit this,” Paul said.

“I don’t hear that coming from you. All I hear is, ‘We can’t do this, we can’t do that, we can’t play baseball,'” Paul said.

Fauci asked the chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., for extra time to respond.

“Sen. Paul, I agree with so much of what you say, people putting opinions out without data. Sometimes you have to make extrapolations because you’re in a position where you need to give some sort of recommendation,” Fauci said.

“If you were listening — and I think you were — to my opening statement and my response to one of the questions, I feel very strongly we need to do whatever we can to get the children back to school. I think we’re in lock agreement with that,” Fauci continued.

See Sen. Rand Paul’s exchange with Dr. Anthony Fauci:

‘Most irrational public policy probably in modern history’

The Hoover Institution’s Atlas said Monday night that studies show children are not affected by the coronavirus and don’t spread it.

He told Tucker Carlson there is “no reason for a lockdown when we have something happening we actually have no problem with.”

Atlas said the recent rise in cases in some parts of the nation does “not translate into people going into respirators.”

“The hospitalization phase is half the length that they were before,” he said. “We are doing very well with this, but the point about the schools is really critical because this is the most irrational public policy probably in modern history.”

“There is no science behind having children not attend schools. There is zero science for having children wear masks or have spacing when they have zero risk from the disease,” he said.

See the interview with Dr. Scott Atlas:

One-size-fits-all

At a virtual Senate committee hearing in May, as WND reported, Paul challenged Fauci’s belief at the time that this fall might be too soon for schools to reopen.

Paul began his questioning by having Fauci affirm – contrary to the World Health Organization’s claim – there is substantial evidence that, like most infectious diseases, people infected with the coronavirus develop an immunity to it.

He then pointed to data from New York that the infection-fatality rate for the coronavirus is near zero for children and 10 in 100,000 for people ages 18 to 45.

On the issue of going back to school, he told the panel that “left out of the discussion is the mortality.”

“Shouldn’t we at least be discussing what the mortality of children is?” he asked.

Paul said the “one-size-fits-all” national strategy – that “nobody is going to go to school” – “is kind of ridiculous.”

“We really ought to be doing it school district by school district,” he told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

And the power needs to be disbursed, he said, “because people make wrong predictions.”

“I think it’s going to be a huge mistake if we don’t open up the schools in the fall,” Paul said.

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