Kentucky senator mocks masks, bashes Gov. Beshear

Published 5:58 am Saturday, May 8, 2021

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky made fun of mask wearing by people who have been vaccinated for COVID, ridiculed President Biden for urging caution, and denounced Gov. Andy Beshear for his legal argument that public health orders are “inherent powers” of the state’s chief executive.

Paul, who said this week he is seeking a third term in the U.S. Senate, made his remarks at an event near Lexington and Nicholasville that was attended by about 60 people who weren’t wearing masks.

The Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce dessert gathering at Moonlight Fields Wedding Farm on Ashgrove Road was the senator’s last event of the day after he had visited Harrodsburg and Stanford. He is on a tour through Central Kentucky to meet with constituents and talk about issues, including public health restrictions, deficit spending and race.

“You may not have heard it but President Biden said that on July 4, if you’re with three people within your family, your immediate family, and you’ve been vaccinated, you can take your mask off for a few seconds,” Paul joked, exaggerating what the president had said about wearing masks in stadiums and other crowded outdoor venues but not needing to wear one at outdoor family gatherings after being fully vaccinated.

He also used a mocking tone to make fun of immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases for wearing “two or three masks” after having had a second shot because he thought the vaccine might not be effective against coronavirus variants.

“If you look for people who are getting sick, hospitalized or dying from the virus after the vaccine or after natural infection, it’s close to zero. It’s not zero. But there’s not anything you do in life that’s zero risk,” Paul said. “But it’s a very reasonable risk, after you’ve been vaccinated, to not have to wear a mask and get out and enjoy yourself.”