Rand Paul still complaining about handling pandemic, lays blame at Beshear and Fauci

Published 10:21 pm Tuesday, June 29, 2021

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul complained bitterly Tuesday about the government’s COVID-19 response but did not single out former President Donald Trump for blame, instead accusing Kentucky’s governor and Dr. Anthony Fauci of encroaching on personal freedom.

In a home state appearance in Greensburg, Kentucky, the libertarian-leaning Republican said Americans should make their own decisions on whether to be vaccinated.

“We don’t really need people who believe in some sort of elitism to tell us what to do,” said Paul, who is an eye surgeon, speaking before a luncheon audience. “I think we’ve got pretty good sense.”

Paul noted that most people age 65 and older have receive their vaccinations, saying they “figured out it was in their best interest to do so.”

“In a free society, we make these decisions individually,” he said.

Paul acknowledged Trump as “one of the big leaders” of the national Republican Party but said the GOP has a lot of leaders. Paul deflected a question about whether he might seek the presidency again, saying he is focused on his 2022 Senate reelection bid.

Paul’s talk of individuality comes as the Biden administration tries to reach its COVID-19 vaccination goal by sending A-list officials across the country, devising ads for niche markets and enlisting community organizers to persuade unvaccinated people to get a shot.

Paul opened his wide-ranging remarks by taking aim at Fauci, the nation’s top government infectious-diseases expert, and Kentucky’s Democratic governor, Andy Beshear.

Paul has sparred with Fauci over the need to wear masks once coronavirus vaccines were available and over how COVID-19 originated. The senator told the rural GOP crowd Tuesday that Fauci was “busy being political” and “elitist,” adding: “We’re smart enough to make our own decisions.”

The senator lambasted Beshear over his virus-related restrictions on businesses that have since been lifted, saying: “In our state, the governor decided that he was king.” Beshear has said his actions saved lives.