Sen. Rand Paul confronted Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday over comments he once made boasting about the superiority of natural immunity over vaccines.
During a Senate hearing on monkeypox, Paul played a video of Fauci saying in 2004 that “the most potent vaccination is getting infected yourself.
The remark was made during a taping of C-SPAN’s “The Washington Journal” when a caller asked Fauci whether she should get a flu shot after having already been infected with influenza for two weeks.
“If she got the flu for 14 days, she’s as protected as anybody can be, because the best vaccination is getting infected yourself,” Fauci said at the time. “If she really has the flu, she definitely doesn’t need a flu vaccine.”
When the C-SPAN host asked Fauci whether she should get the flu shot, Fauci explained, “She doesn’t need it because the most potent vaccination is getting infected yourself.”
In light of Fauci’s previous remarks, Paul questioned Fauci over why he continues to push COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, including for children, despite, according to Paul, the fact that most children have COVID antibodies.
“When we look at this we wonder why you seem to really embrace basic immunology back in 2004 and how you, or why you, seem to reject it now,” Paul noted.
Fauci responded that he does not reject “basic immunology” and has never denied “there is importance in the protection following infection.” He proceeded to assert the importance of vaccination after infection for an “added, extra boost.” He then claimed his comments from 2004 were “really taken out of context.”
But Paul quickly checked him.
“Actually, words don’t lie,” Paul interjected, hammering Fauci for repeatedly advising that children receive COVID boosters while not taking into account natural immunity.
“So what you’re doing is denying the very fundamental premise of immunology that previous infection does provide some sort of immunity,” Paul added.
“If you ignore whether they’ve been infected, you’re ignoring a vaccine basically, so you’re ignoring a variable,” Paul went on to say. “You decry and people decry ‘vaccine hesitancy’— it’s coming from the gobbledygook that you give us. You’re not paying attention to the science!”
Fauci, however, again denied that he ignores basic immunology. Paul responded that not including previous infection in government guidance on vaccines is akin to ignoring the importance of natural immunity.
What has Fauci said?
Last May, for example, Fauci promoted studies showing that immunity from COVID vaccines is stronger than what “nature” provides.
“The issue of vaccines actually, at least with regard to SARS-CoV-2, can do better than nature,” Fauci said at the time.
Complete exchange between Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci at Monkeypox hearing