Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday ripped Dr. Anthony Fauci for calling on Americans to continue wearing masks even after receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations.
The Kentucky Republican, who also happens to be a doctor, cited a study that found evidence people who have been vaccinated or have had the virus are protected -- even from different strains of the virus.
In a post on Twitter, Paul linked to a pre-print of a study by the National Institute of Health (NIH). Fauci an immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH served on former President Trump's White House Coronavirus Task Force and is now President Biden's chief medical adviser on COVID-19.
"Dr. Fauci, great news! T cell immunity after natural infection shown to include variants," Paul wrote on Twitter. "Do we still need to wear multiple masks after we’ve recovered or been vaccinated?"
The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, found that "virtually all anti-SARS-CoV-2 CD8+ T-cell responses should recognize these newly described variants." Still, the authors of the study note its findings are based on a limited sample size.
Earlier this month, Paul blasted Fauci for pushing masks after vaccination.
"You want to get rid of vaccine hesitancy? Tell them you can quit wearing your mask after they get the vaccine," Paul said at a Senate hearing. "You want people to get the vaccine? Give them a reward instead of telling them that the nanny state's going to be there for three more years and you got to wear a mask forever. People don't want to hear it. There’s no science behind it."
"Well, let me just state for the record that masks are not theater," Fauci said in response. "Masks are protective."
"If you have immunity, they're theater," Paul said. "If you already have immunity you're wearing a mask to give comfort to others."
"I totally disagree with you," Fauci said.