What is wrong with Rand Paul? Does he enjoy embarrassing himself? He must, or he would not keep starting fights with Dr. Anthony Fauci about coronavirus. Washington Post reported on the latest skirmish between the two doctors. The problem with Paul is he is the wrong kind of doctor to be speaking on coronavirus unless it recently became an eye disease. Paul is an ophthalmologist and knows little, if anything, about virulent diseases like coronavirus. Dr. Fauci is an immunologist and an expert on infectious diseases. He has served as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, was at the forefront of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and has served as an advisor to seven presidents (NIAID). Oddsmakers would put their money on Fauci every day of the week.
Dr. Fauci has obviously grown weary of Rand Paul. He very forcefully told Paul: “Senator Paul, you do not know what you’re talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially.” Who can blame him? Republicans have been giving Dr. Fauci hell for an exceptionally long time. They have no respect for his knowledge and experience because they have no respect for science. They keep trying to make things up as they go along, and they are doing their constituents (and the rest of us) a disservice with their anti-vaccine behavior. They should, instead, be beating the pavement, trying to convince their people to get vaccinated. Doctors have said repeatedly that until everyone is vaccinated, we will not reach herd immunity. Is that what Republicans want or are they willing to be “right” regardless of risk? All of them act as if this is some type of game or joke, as evidenced by Ron DeSantis’s idea of “branding.”
Washington Post reported that DeSantis has secured merchandise with the logo “Don’t Fauci My Florida” emblazoned on t-shirts and drink koozies. Florida has one of the highest infection rates in the country, yet DeSantis thinks this is funny. DeSantis believes that because he kept Florida open during the pandemic, Florida is doing better financially than some other states that closed. Keep in mind that this is merely DeSantis’s best guess, as he has no final numbers. He is merely pandering to the anti-vaccine crowd even as many of them become ill and/or hospitalized. Talk about “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” DeSantis touts his decision to “follow freedom” instead of “following Fauci.” This attitude is irresponsible at best and deadly at worst, yet people keep voting these people into office.
Regardless of what any Republican thinks—especially the ill-informed “Dr.” Rand Paul—Dr. Fauci has done a great job keeping us safe. He may have changed lanes on some directives, but that is what happens when you are dealing with a novel virus. Health experts had much wrong during the HIV/AIDs epidemic, but that virus is no longer a death sentence because science was allowed to lead. If we can allow science to lead, we will see reductions in major illness and death from coronavirus.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years