Threats of vaccine requirements — while returning to mask mandates and potentially more lockdowns — are creating more vaccine hesitancy, not allaying fears, according to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Newsmax.
"When they tell you this that you've got to wear a mask when you've been vaccinated — or when you've had it — it's like telling you to distrust the belief that the vaccine works," Paul told Emerald Robinson in an exclusive interview on Thursday's "American Agenda." "So, the people who already [are] hesitant are going to say, 'Well, if I've got to wear a mask, why even bother?'
"So it really isn't encouraging people. It's actually giving people the wrong message. If you want more people to be vaccinated, quit mandating everybody to wear a mask, because it seems counterproductive."
Paul added to Robinson he is not anti-vaccine. He believes in the science and says he has his own immunity from having had the COVID-19 infection before. Also, immunity works in protecting people from serious illness or hospitalization.
"Everything they're telling you isn't really correct," Paul said. "We aren't seeing lining up by the droves [in hospitals] who have been vaccinated or who have had this.
"Are there examples of them getting it? Yes, but think it's more of the exception than the rule."
And, Paul is resoundingly pro-choice with vaccines, something pro-choice Democrats on women's rights should be with regard to vaccinations, he said.
"There is a complete and utterly disregard by the left of individual rights," he continued. "The people on the left who are supposedly my body, my choice and all that, all that thinking has gone out the window when it comes to vaccines. They're for no choice.
"They're for: 'Oh, you could be infected.' Well, if you're vaccinated why are you so concerned about someone who's unvaccinated? 'They could be sitting next to me in a restaurant.'
"If you're vaccinated, you're largely protected. There are very few people that are dying who are vaccinated. Almost nobody is dying who is vaccinated, or who has had the infection previously."
Paul called President Joe Biden's federal employee vaccine mandate "a huge mistake."
"In a free country, everybody should decide," he said, pointing to the "extraordinary" 90% of Americans over 65 years old having been fully vaccinated.
Paul supports vaccination for the vulnerable older populations and anyone over 30 who is "overweight," he added.
"It's those two things: It's mostly age, but I think weight is the second factor," he said. "But forcing them to do it isn't consistent with the American way."
Paul noted after submitting a criminal referral to the Biden Justice Department in which he claimed that Dr. Anthony Fauci lied to Congress, it is "unlikely" anything comes of it — and he does not expect a response.
"But I think it's important that we make this argument," Paul said. "Lying to Congress is serious. Lying to the American people is serious."
Regardless, Fauci has shown "colossally bad judgment" for his alleged funding of coronavirus research in Wuhan through subgrants from the National Institutes of Health, and "he needs to be out of a position of influence."
"All of these edicts basically flow downhill from him," Paul said of the director of NIH's allergy and infectious diseases department. "But the thing is, if he's been dishonest to us, I think we need to know.
"If Dr. Fauci funded that lab, it shows bad judgment, but if he's still denying it — and now he's saying, 'Well, uh,' he'd do it again and that he still trusts the Chinese: Boy, what colossally bad judgment. Should somebody like that be in charge of directing policy in our country?
"So I think he's made so many judgment errors that I think prosecution is appropriate because he lied, but more than anything, he needs to be out of a position of influence."
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