Dr. Anthony Fauci and Rand Paul had a sharp exchange at today’s hearing before a Senate panel on opening schools amid the coronavirus crisis.
Said Paul: “Shouldn’t we be at least be discussing what the mortality of children is? … It’s not going to be zero but it almost approaches zero. Between [the ages of] 18 and 45, the mortality was 10 out of 100,000. … I hope that people who are predicting doom and gloom [about opening up various economies around the nation] will admit that they were wrong if there isn’t a surge because I think that’s what’s going to happen.”
Paul said we need to be reopening schools “school district by school district” and told Fauci “as much as I respect you, I don’t think you’re the ‘end all,’ I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make a decision. We can listen to your advice but there are people on the other side saying ‘there’s not going to be a surge.'”
Replied Fauci: “First of all, I have never made myself out to be the ‘end all’ and the only voice of this. I am a scientist, a physician, and a public health official. I give advice according to the best scientific evidence. … You use the word ‘we should be humble about what we don’t know.’ We don’t know everything about this virus, and we really better be very careful, particularly when it comes to children. Because the more and more we learn, we’re seeing things about what this virus can do that we didn’t see from the studies in China or in Europe. For example, right now, children presenting with COVID-19 who actually have a very strange inflammatory syndrome, very similar to Kawasaki syndrome. I think we better be careful, that we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects.”