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'Here we go with theater': Rand Paul, Dr. Fauci share heated exchange over vaccine, double masks

During a Senate hearing, Paul said Fauci wearing two masks despite getting the vaccine was 'theater.'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After an intense exchange, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is "dead wrong" about people getting re-infected with COVID-19.

During a Senate hearing, Paul said Fauci wearing two masks despite getting the vaccine was "theater." Fauci responded by saying masks were protective — not theater, later reiterating his points on CBS This Morning Friday.

"Senator Paul has this message that we don't need masks, which goes against just about everything we know about how to prevent spread of the virus," said Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Paul told WHAS11 Friday said "no study in the world" shows coronavirus could be spread by people who were previously infected or have been fully vaccinated.

"If Dr. Fauci comes up with evidence that shows me that some sort of variant is here and thousands of people are dying, or hospitals are overrun with people who have already had it or are vaccinated, then we should listen to it," Paul said.

Fauci said Paul was "dead wrong," telling CBS This Morning that not wearing a mask after infection or vaccination goes against all public health tenets. He said Paul quoted selective literature, leaving out studies that show people can be re-infected.

"Just the other day...a paper came out showing individuals who are infected, particularly the elderly individuals greater than 65, they have a high incidence of getting re-infected," Fauci said.

Health care workers at UofL Health have told WHAS11 coronavirus can strike twice, saying that while antibodies will be developed after getting COVID-19, it does not mean the antibodies will last.

"If you're just going around not wearing a mask, not social distancing, not washing your hands you put yourself at risk of being reinfected and unfortunately we've had cases around the country of reinfections," Dr. Val Briones-Pryor said in February.

This story may be updated.

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