by WorldTribune Staff, May 8, 2020
Sen. Rand Paul, the only member of Congress’s upper chamber known to have contracted COVID-19, returned to Capitol Hill on Monday without the piece of equipment that has become a symbol of the pandemic — the face mask.
“I have immunity. I’ve already had the virus, so I can’t get it again and I can’t give it to anybody,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters on Tuesday. “I can’t get it again, nor can I transmit. So of all the people you’ll meet here, I’m about the only safe person in Washington.”
The Kentucky Republican was immediately scolded by major media outlets. NBC News said Paul, an eye surgeon, “can’t be sure of those claims,” while The Washington Post stated that “no one knows whether recovered covid-19 patients are immune to a new infection — or, if they are immune, how complete or long-lasting that immunity might be.”
USA today blared: “Sen. Rand Paul won’t wear mask, says he has immunity to coronavirus despite lack of evidence.”
Paul refused to back down: “The fake news can’t stand that some people might not need to submit to the new authoritarianism of the Left because they are immune to coronavirus,. Modern science disagrees.”
“Leave it to Rand Paul, the Senate’s top libertarian and a physician to boot, to lead the charge against tyrannical government leaders calling for their previously coronavirus-infected subjects to wear face masks,” Valerie Richardson wrote for The Washington Times on May 6.
Reports of recovered patients testing positive for the coronavirus have emerged in China, Japan and South Korea, but infectious disease experts in Seoul announced last week that those cases were the result of testing errors, not reinfection, according to the Korea Herald.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, repeatedly has expressed confidence on the likelihood of COVID-19 antibodies conferring at least short-term immunity, saying that he would be “willing to bet anything that people who recover are really protected against reinfection.”
“[I]f this virus acts like every other virus that we know, once you get infected, get better, clear the virus, then you’ll have immunity that will protect you against reinfection,” said Dr. Fauci on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in late March.
Last month, Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association that people are unlikely to test positive for the disease twice.
“Generally, we know with infections like this, that at least for a reasonable period of time, you’re going to have antibodies that are going to be protective,” said Fauci.
Paul was quick to cite the expert support for his refusal to cover up. After recovering last month from the virus, the senator volunteered his medical services at a hospital in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where he was reportedly involved in treating coronavirus patients.
“To those who want to continue this lockdown, even Dr. Fauci agrees if you’ve recovered you will have immunity!” Paul tweeted Wednesday.
Paul also had a message for others who have recovered from the infection: Don’t let the nannies force you to mask up.
“To the approximately 2 million New Yorkers and others who got coronavirus and survived, don’t let these busybodies tell you that you don’t have immunity,” tweeted Paul. “They want you to be lemmings and do as THEY see fit. RESIST!”