Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul made his case for opening both the economy and public schools during a Tuesday afternoon appearance on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto.”
As coronavirus cases spike across the country, the question of how much to pull back on reopenings in certain states and whether or not to have in-person learning in public schools has been hotly debated.
Speaking with Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto, Paul accused the media of “scaring people to death” about a disease that poses very little risk to most.
“The mortality for children, 0 to 18 is one in a million or less,” Paul contended. “The mortality between 18 years of age and 45 is about ten in 100,000, so we need to assess those risks and make decisions.”
The Kentucky senator pointed out that schools have opened in 22 European countries and are “doing just fine,” adding that children are “not good transmitters” of the virus.
“In general, people who are asymptomatic are not good transmitters,” said Paul before pointing out that “very few staff members” got infected when New York daycares stayed open for critical workers throughout the height of the pandemic.
Paul referred to White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci as “well-intentioned,” but said people like Stanford’s Dr. Scott Atlas, who “has a much different and a much more reasoned perspective,” should be given consideration as well.
“What we do is we listen to a lot of these people,” he said. “Ultimately, if we are going to live in a free country, none of these people should get to make a decision for us. For us individually, each individual should assess the risks and make their choices. Frankly, if you’re 18 years old, the rules should be or the advice should be much different than if you are 80 years old. If you are in a nursing home and 85 years old. And so it isn’t one-size-fits-all. We can’t say everybody needs to stay at home because someone at the nursing home might get sick. No, let’s try to be careful and protect those in the nursing home. But let’s open the economy, open the schools.”
Paul explained his view of how close things could be to some degree of herd immunity, which he contended could happen at a lower percentage than many think. (RELATED: ‘Risk Is Part Of Life’: Lou Holtz Blasts College Football Coronavirus Rules That Make Season ‘Impossible’)
“No one knows what the future holds, but I tend to be optimistic that we might get to 20 or 25% immunity we may be able to overcome the disease at that point,” he said.