Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in a statement to reporters said Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is a “lunatic” for refusing to wear a mask to protect others from Covid-19.
Asked about colleagues who don’t wear masks, Brown told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “One of them that’s an M.D., isn’t, but he’s kind of a lunatic,” a reference to Paul. “He thinks he wants to be different but it doesn’t serve the public interest.”
Paul, who is a graduate of the Duke University of Medicine and once practiced ophthalmology, soon issued a statement in response.
“Vaccine deniers, who dispute immunity after natural infection and after vaccination, should refrain from name-calling and perhaps try to get informed.” Paul said.
Paul has said that the American public should not presume experts know best when it comes to handling the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” Paul said during a July 2020 hearing attended by the directors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “I think government health experts during this pandemic need to show caution in their prognostications. 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.”
In September 2020, Paul openly derided Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, on the matter of herd immunity.
“It’s important that we the people not simply acquiesce to authoritarian mandates on our behavior without first making the Nanny State prove their hypothesis,” Paul said at the time. “What we do know is that New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Rhode Island still allowed the highest death rates in the world.”
“You’ve misconstrued that Senator and you’ve done that repetitively in the past. They got hit very badly and they made some mistakes,” adding that New Yorkers are now “looking at the guidelines” developed by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to stop the spread.
Fauci struck down Paul’s further claim that New Yorkers have developed herd immunity to the coronavirus.
“I challenge that, Senator,” he said. “You are not listening to what the director of the CDC said, that in New York [the infection rate is] about 22 percent. If you believe 22 percent is herd immunity, I believe you’re alone in that.”