Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Monday called Anthony Fauci a “petty tyrant” for suggesting Americans vaccinated against the coronavirus should not eat or drink indoors.
“Fauci continues to ignore 100 years of vaccine science,” Paul wrote in a tweet Monday morning. “His only real theme is ‘do what I say’ even when it makes no sense.”
Americans who have recovered from or been vaccinated against the coronavirus should “go about your life,” Paul said. “Eat, drink, work, open the schools … Enough with the petty tyrants!”
Fauci, during an appearance on MSNBC Sunday evening, said it was “still not OK” for people who have been vaccinated to eat-in or drink at indoor businesses.
“For the simple reason that the level of infection, the dynamic of infection in the community are still really disturbingly high,” Fauci said. “Like just yesterday there were close to 80,000 new infections and we’ve been hanging around 60, 75,000. ”
If you are vaccinated, Fauci said, “please remember that you still have to be careful and not get involved in crowded situations, particularly indoors where people are not wearing masks.”
Officials from the White House coronavirus task force said Monday that an estimated 40% of adults in the United States have received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose.
As the vaccine is distributed and administered, most states have kept capacity limits on bars and restaurants in place, though some have loosened restrictions and only a few have lifted public safety measures.
During the pandemic, Fauci and Paul have clashed on a number of occasions over issues such as mask effectiveness and the accuracy of federal and statewide coronavirus data.
“You’re telling everyone to wear a mask,” Paul pressed Fauci during a congressional hearing in March. “If we’re not spreading the infection, isn’t it just theater? You have the vaccine and you’re wearing two masks, isn’t that theater?”
“I agree with you, that you very likely would have protection from wild type for at least six months if you’re infected,” Fauci said, referring to Paul’s assertions about patients who have recovered from the coronavirus and people who are vaccinated, but added variants of the virus popping up across the globe are “a good reason for a mask.”
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