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‘You parade around in a mask for show’: Rand Paul tells Fauci during hearing

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National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky testified Thursday with other federal officials on the COVID-19 response.

In an exchange at a hearing on the nation’s coronavirus response, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul pushed back against Fauci’s claim that masks should be required for every American, including those who are already immune from COVID-19.

“There have been no reports of significant numbers of reinfections after acquiring COVID-19 naturally,” Sen. Paul said.

Paul went on to cite numerous studies that had significant evidence of long-term immunity after COVID infection.

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“So rather than being pessimistic towards people gaining immunity after they’ve had COVID, or had a vaccine, studies argue for significant optimism,” Paul told Dr. Fauci. “In fact, there have been no scientific studies arguing, or proving, that infection with COVID does not create immunity.”

“Given that no scientific studies have shown significant numbers of reinfections of patients previously infected, or previously vaccinated, what specific studies do you cite to argue that the public should be wearing masks well into 2022?” Paul asked Fauci. “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?”

“Here we go again with the theater,” Fauci replied growing frustrated.

Fauci argued that the variants of the disease which are now circulating require every American to wear masks.

“What proof is there that there is significant reinfections with hospitalizations and deaths from the variants? None in our country. Zero,” Paul replied. “You’re making a policy based on conjecture.”

“You’ve been vaccinated and you parade around in a mask for show. You can’t get it again!” Paul exclaimed. “You’re defying everything we know about immunity by telling people to wear masks who have been vaccinated.”

Fauci responded, “Let me just state for the record masks are not theater. Masks are protective.”

Watch the full video here.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Healthcare

CA to provide all low-income illegal immigrants health care at a cost of ‘$2.7 billion a year’

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On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $307.9 billion operating budget “that pledges to make all low-income adults eligible for the state’s Medicaid program by 2024 regardless of their immigration status” reports the Associated Press.

The guarantee of free health care for low-income immigrants here illegally, is a “move that will provide coverage for an additional 764,000 people at an eventual cost of about $2.7 billion a year” adds the AP.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care nonprofit, people living in the country illegally in 2020 accounted for roughly 7% of the population nationwide, or about 22.1 million people. The border crisis and number of migrants entering the United States illegally has skyrocketed to historic levels since 2020 when President Joe Biden took office.

Medicaid nationwide is the current combination of federal and state governments assisting Americans and low-income adults and children to receive free health care, but the federal government does not cover those living here illegally.

“Some states, including California, have used their own tax dollars to cover a portion of health care expenses for some low-income immigrants” reports the AP. “Now, California wants to be the first to do that for everyone.”

“This will represent the biggest expansion of coverage in the nation since the start of the Affordable Care Act in 2014,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a statewide consumer health care advocacy group. “In California we recognize (that) everybody benefits when everyone is covered.”

While 92% of Californians currently have some form of health insurance, “that will change once this budget is fully implemented, as adults living in the country illegally make up one of the largest groups of people without insurance in the state” the AP concludes.

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