Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., hammered Dr. Anthony Fauci for excessive regulations on schools and day care centers during Tuesday’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing.
Paul demanded Fauci explain why children are still barred from going back to schools and day care centers given the mounting global evidence that children do not readily contract nor transmit the Wuhan virus. “Dr. Fauci, virtually every day we seem to hear from you things we can’t do,” Paul said. “But when you’re asked, ‘Can we go back to school,’ I don’t hear much certitude at all. I hear, ‘Well, maybe, it depends.’”
Paul said 22 European countries have reopened their schools, with no noticeable increase in coronavirus cases. “There is data from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands with no spike when schools are opened,” Paul said. “Contact tracing studies in China, Iceland, Britain, and the Netherlands failed to find a single case of child-to-adult infection.”
Some U.S. states have permitted child care for essential workers throughout the pandemic, prompting a Brown University study on the effects. “Brown University researchers collected data on day care centers that remained open during the pandemic,” Paul noted. “Over 25,000 children participated, and their study found that only .16 percent contracted Wuhan virus, and when you looked at the confirmed cases for staff, there was about 1 percent of more than 9,000 staff.” Paul also cited two supporting studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the YMCA, showing children are less likely to contract the virus.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the government and so-called experts were operating on limited information, Paul noted. Now, however, they continue calling for schools and child care centers to remain closed, or suggest unreasonable restrictions, even though examples from all around the country and the world demonstrate that young kids rarely transmit COVID-19.
Despite clear evidence that children do not spread the virus, Paul said all he hears Fauci say is, “‘We can’t do this, we can’t do that, we can’t play baseball.’”
“Can’t you give us a little bit more on schools, so we can get back to school?” Paul asked.
“We need to do whatever we can to get the children back to school,” Fauci agreed.
Fauci didn’t say whether he recommended sending kids back to school. In a CNN interview earlier this month, Fauci said, “I hesitate to make any broad statements about whether it is or is not quote ‘safe’ for kids to come back to school.” He also did not say whether he agreed with the evidence Paul presented.
“I never said we can’t play a certain sport,” Fauci defended. “What happens is that people in the sport industry … ask me opinions regarding certain facts about the spread of the virus. … I get it, and then it gets interpreted that I’m saying you can’t play this sport, you can’t play that sport.”
Fauci said he was “unqualified” to tell Americans whether they can play sports. “The only thing that I can do is, to the best of my ability, give you the facts and the evidence associated with what I know about this outbreak,” Fauci said.
Fauci’s response was a change in tone from earlier this month when he said, “Football may not happen this year. … Unless players are essentially in a bubble, insulated from the community and … tested nearly every day, it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall.”