Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) plans to introduce legislation to repeal the mask mandate on planes once the Senate session returns.
“When the Senate returns to session, I will be introducing an immediate repeal of the mask mandate on planes. Enough! Time to stop this farce and let people travel in peace!” Paul tweeted Thursday.
Paul, who has stated vocal opposition to various COVID-19 related restrictions throughout the pandemic, said in January that “if you’ve had the disease or you’ve been vaccinated and you’re several weeks out from the second dose, throw your mask away.”
In March, Paul pushed back at Dr. Anthony Fauci over whether people should wear masks if they have recovered from coronavirus or been vaccinated against it.
“You’re telling everybody to wear a mask, whether they’ve had an infection or a vaccine,” Paul said to Fauci in a congressional hearing. “If people that have had the vaccine or have had the infection … if we’re not spreading the infection, isn’t it just theater?” Paul asked.
“Here we go again with the theater. Let’s get down to the facts,” Fauci replied. “Let me just state for the record that masks are not theater. Masks are protective.”
Fauci has been seen consistently breaking his own rules regarding masking throughout the pandemic, famously wearing a mask when pitching at a baseball game, only to later take it off when sitting with others.
Paul has also expressed his concerns over Fauci’s potential involvement and funding of gain of function research in the Wuhan lab. Fauci had himself approved gain of function research on bat coronaviruses in the Wuhan lab prior to the beginning of the pandemic, but continues to deny doing so.
“Absolutely, he lied to the American people. There was gain of function research going on with Dr. Shi Zhengli at the Wuhan Institute,” Paul explained.
“In her paper, she actually thanked Dr. Fauci and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is a part of National Institutes of Health (NIH) that Dr. Fauci runs,” Paul stated.
“It’s listed at the end of the paper. This paper was fined by NIAID research and it lists a ten-digit number that identifies the research money she got from the United States. Was it gain of function?” Paul asked.
“Well it took a SARS virus, which is a coronavirus, that’s 15 times more deadly than COVID, and it added to it S protein, which is something in the surface of it, to make it more easily infectious to epithelial cells for the respiratory tract. That to me is gain of function,” he concluded.