‘I totally disagree with you,’ Fauci tells GOP senator in fiery exchange over masks

White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci pushed again on Thursday towards Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s declare that individuals are not vulnerable to Covid after they’ve recovered or have been vaccinated.

In a fiery exchange throughout a Senate listening to inspecting the nation’s coronavirus response efforts, Paul advised Fauci that Americans should not should put on masks after getting vaccinated as a result of there may be “virtually 0% chance” they’re going to get Covid-19.

“Isn’t it just theater?” the Kentucky junior senator, an ophthalmologist, requested throughout a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee listening to.

“You’ve been vaccinated and you parade around in two masks for show. You can’t get it again,” Paul mentioned. “There’s virtually 0% chance you’re going to get it and you’re telling people that have had the vaccine who have immunity — you’re defying everything we know about immunity by telling people to wear masks who have been vaccinated.”

In response, Fauci mentioned, “Here we go again with the theater.”

Can I just state for the record that masks are not theater,” Fauci mentioned. “I totally disagree with you.”

The emergence of latest, extremely contagious variants poses a risk to individuals who have recovered from Covid or who’ve been vaccinated, he mentioned.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks throughout a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee listening to on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill on March 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Susan Walsh | Pool | Getty Images

New variants, significantly the B.1.351 pressure first recognized in South Africa, have been proven to evade the safety of vaccines.

“In the South African study conducted by [Johnson & Johnson], they found that people who were infected with wild type and were exposed to the variant in South Africa, the 351, it was as if they had never been infected before, they had no protection,” Fauci mentioned.

Fauci agreed it was unlikely somebody would get contaminated with the unique pressure for at the very least six months, “But we in our country now have variants.”

The exchange got here slightly over per week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched new steerage that mentioned people who find themselves totally immunized can safely go to different vaccinated folks indoors with out carrying a masks or social distancing.

But the CDC additionally really useful that vaccinated folks ought to nonetheless put on masks in public settings, gatherings with unvaccinated folks from multiple different family and with people who find themselves at elevated threat for extreme sickness.

While a rising physique of proof means that people who find themselves inoculated towards Covid are much less prone to transmit the illness to others, it is nonetheless not recognized how lengthy somebody’s safety would possibly final or the effectiveness of the photographs towards rising variants, the CDC mentioned on March 8.

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