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Rand Paul gives advice against CDC guidelines, says to 'Tell Dr. Fauci to take a leap'

Louisville Courier-Journal logo Louisville Courier-Journal 1/16/2021 Sarah Elbeshbishi, USA TODAY
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Sen. Rand Paul contradicted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and told people during a FOX News interview on Friday to discard their masks once they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have been infected with the coronavirus.

"If you’ve had the disease or you’ve been vaccinated and you’re several weeks out of your second dose, throw your mask away and tell Dr. Fauci to take a leap because, once you have immunity, you don’t need to do this," the Kentucky Republican told Fox News host Lauren Ingram. 

The CDC says "not enough information is currently available" to lift its recommendations that people wear masks and practice social distancing after getting the vaccine. 

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"Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide in real-world conditions before making that decision. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision," the CDC says. 

More coronavirus news: Kentucky's COVID-19 positivity rate drops below 12% as 3,096 more cases are reported

"Masks and social distancing will need to continue into the foreseeable future — until we have some level of herd immunity. Masks and distancing are here to stay," Dr. Preeti Malani, the chief health officer at the University of Michigan, told PBS.

Malani also said that no vaccine is immediately effective. It takes roughly two weeks before an immune system to make the antibodies necessary to block the infections.

Experts also aren’t sure whether the COVID-19 vaccines prevent people from spreading the virus. As of right now, the vaccines are only known to prevent people from getting sick. Until experts can determine that, the safest thing is to keep wearing masks, according to Dr. Tom Frieden, a former CDC director.

Some on social media criticized Paul for his comments. 

"With this ludicrous statement, Rand Paul presents more compelling personal evidence that he remains a very ignorant, dangerous, and misguided individual," tweeted former CIA Director John Brennan. "Unfortunately, we have far too many of them within our midst and within our government as of late." 

Rand Paul wearing a suit and tie: Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky speaks during the Republican National Convention at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. © Republican National Convention Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky speaks during the Republican National Convention at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rand Paul gives advice against CDC guidelines, says to 'Tell Dr. Fauci to take a leap'

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