1. Wide shot of Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Rand Paul, (R) Kentucky:
"Do you have any second thoughts about your mitigation recommendations, considering the evidence that despite all of the things we've done in the U.S., our death rate is essentially worse than Sweden, equivalent to the less developed world that is unable to do any of the things that you've been promoting? Do you have any second thoughts? Are you willing to look at the data that countries that did very little actually have a lower death rate to the United States?"
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases:
"Hopefully, and I am and my colleagues are, humble enough and modest enough to realize that as new data comes, you make different recommendations. But I don't regret saying that the only way we could have really stopped the explosion of infection was by essentially, I want to say shutting down. I mean, essentially having the physical separation and the kinds of recommendations that we've made."
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky:
"You've been a big fan of (Gov.) Cuomo and the shut down in New York, you've lauded New York for their policy. New York had the highest death rate in the world. How can we possibly be jumping up and down and saying, oh, Governor Cuomo did a great job. He had the worst death rate in the world?"
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases:
"No, you misconstrued that, Senator, and you've done that repetitively in the past. They got hit very badly. They've made some mistakes. Right now, if you look at what's going on right now, the things that are going on in New York to get their test positivity one percent or less is because they are looking at the guidelines that we have put together from the task force of the four or five things of masks, social distancing, outdoors more than indoors, avoiding crowds and washing hands."
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Rand Paul, (R) Kentucky:
"Or they've developed enough community immunity that they're no longer having the pandemic because they have enough immunity in New York City to actually stop it."
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases:
"I challenge that, Senator, because, please, sir, I would like to be able to do this because this happens with Senator Rand all the time. You were not listening to what the director of the CDC said, that in New York it's about 22 percent. If you believe 22 percent is herd immunity, I believe you're alone in that."
Dr. Anthony Fauci clashed Wednesday with Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky over Paul's claim that New York's rate of coronavirus infection is significantly down because it has achieved herd immunity.
In a heated exchange during a Senate hearing on the U.S. government's COVID-19 response, Paul asked Fauci if he has any "second thoughts" about advising the country to shut down economically during the height of the pandemic last spring.
Fauci responded that he does not regret saying that was the only way to stop "the explosion of infection."
Paul shot back that despite Fauci lauding New York and Gov. Andrew Cuomo for it's response to the pandemic, the state, according to the Senator, has a death rate "among the highest in the world despite shuttering businesses and schools earlier this year."
Fauci told Paul that he has "misconstrued" the data, adding that he's "done that repetitively in the past."
The nation's top infectious disease expert said New York "made some mistakes," early on. But he said the state has been able to get it's positivity rate down to one percent or less because it has followed the task force's guidelines
Paul challenged that assessment saying: "Or they've developed enough community immunity that they're no longer having the pandemic because they have enough immunity in New York City to actually stop it."
Fauci told Paul sternly that he was "not listening."
"In New York it's about 22 percent (of the population with COVID antibodies). If you believe 22 percent is herd immunity, I believe you're alone in that," Fauci said.
Paul, a libertarian, has long been critical of government lockdown measures, calling them "authoritarian."