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FULL INTERVIEW: Sen. Rand Paul discusses masks, vaccine, Charles Booker, Middle East conflict

Sen. Rand Paul discusses national topics and current events with WBKO News.
Sen. Rand Paul discusses national topics and current events with WBKO News.(WBKO)
Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 6:51 PM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - WBKO News interviewed Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to discuss masks, his vaccine status, Dr. Fauci, Charles Booker, the Middle East conflict, the Capitol Commission.

Q: Many are talking about some of the confusion over the latest CDC guidance. Do you think it was lifted too suddenly? Do you think there was not enough explanation for the guidance?

A: “I’ve been trying to explain the science to Dr. Fauci for several months. Now, the science is very, very clear. If you’ve been vaccinated, you’re very unlikely to catch the disease and very unlikely to spread it and a mask is not necessary. I’ve been saying to those who are vaccinated -- burn your mask. I said this months and months ago. Dr. Fauci has pushed back and I said, ‘Look, you’re wearing two masks because you’re creating this theater, this mask theater.’ He said, ‘Oh, no, no, this is the science.’ But then when he finally admitted this week that he’s not wearing a mask or doesn’t need to wear a mask. He says, Well, before this, I didn’t want people to see me not wearing a mask. So the science didn’t change. The science has been clear for several months. Now, the vaccine works. And by wearing a mask, when you’ve been vaccinated, you’re sending the wrong signal, you’re sending a signal of fear to everyone. But also you’re sending a signal if you’re the lead scientist in the country, that the vaccine doesn’t work. I mean, if you’re still wearing a mask have the vaccine, that’s not a good signal that the vaccine is that good. So hopefully, this will send a different signal 85% of people over 65 have taken the vaccine, which is good. I think that number will go up as people say, wow, you know, it’s going to be good to not have to wear a mask anymore, and then maybe I’ll go get vaccinated. So I think the numbers will go up. The other thing they need to do and our governor hasn’t been very good at is released the vaccine to individual doctors’ offices, because the individual doctors, I think may well be able to convince their patients that the vaccine is a good idea. And the people who are left are the people who are a little bit hesitant who might be persuaded by their family doctor.”

Q: Speaking of the governor, he discussed lifting the capacity limitations to June 11, and lifting that mass mandate. Should he have done it sooner? Should he do it sooner?

A: “He’s mostly been acting illegally and unconstitutionally for the last several months as the state legislature passed a law saying that all his edicts were moot, that after 30 days, the state legislature would have to approve his edicts, and they haven’t approved any of them. So what he’s doing is acting on his own. He’s gone to court. He’s suing the state legislature. And he’s saying that his powers are unlimited, that he has inherent powers during times of public health crisis, that he can do whatever he wants, this is going to go to our Kentucky State Supreme Court, it’s going to be heard in early June, this will be a big deal. It’ll be the question of whether or not the state legislature is allowed under the Constitution to actually be able to trim the powers of the governor. I think absolutely, they have this right. But we’ll see what the supreme court does in June, Supreme Courts also elected. So I think people need to watch very carefully whether or not the Supreme Court rules in favor of the state legislature.”

Q: Have you received the vaccine yet now that it’s widely available to anybody in the U.S.?

A: “I had the disease naturally, there are about 100 million Americans who have had it naturally. All the scientific evidence, all of the studies have shown that there is long-lasting immunity from having it naturally. If people want to get vaccinated if they’re older it’s not an unreasonable thing. But I think for people in my age range and younger who have had it, I think the vaccine is superfluous. That everybody can make their own decision on it in a free country. I don’t think there’s enough evidence leading me to think that I need to be vaccinated since I’ve already had the disease naturally.”

Q: Charles Booker touted the half a million dollars he has raised for his potential run against you, does this concern you? For him being a possible opponent?

A: “I just don’t think it’s gonna be very popular to be for defunding the police. I really think it’d be crazy to have no police. And so that kind of, you know, that might be popular outside of Kentucky might be popular in Portland or Seattle, not that place. But Kentucky, we appreciate our place and appreciate law enforcement. So I just don’t think those kind of ideas will be very popular. I think the idea that reparations for slavery would be the same as building roads and bridges and that we should fund reparations for slavery, just like we do roads and bridges-- that’s an idea so far outside the mainstream that I just don’t know that anybody would support a crazy idea like that. So I think it’ll be difficult for him to have a campaign based on defunding the police and reparations for slavery. I just don’t think people in Kentucky are really interested in those ideas.”

Q: Do you align with Senator McConnell who is opposed to establishing that bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 attack? Should there be a further investigation?

A: “We know there’s been probably one of the most significant law enforcement investigations we’ve ever had in our country. Hundreds of people have been indicted. There are court cases proceeding against hundreds of people who committed violence and poor people who entered illegally. There’s also been, you know, a dozen probably house and senate hearings to look into what happened and why the Capitol Hill police were not better prepared. Were their judgment error? Should we have had more of them? Should they have bed better ride here? So I think that investigation is ongoing. I’m not for the commission because I think the commission is set up by Nancy Pelosi just for political purposes because she thinks this is a field day for her to attack Republicans. And I think that’s a mistake.”

Q: Do you support Israel in the ongoing conflict going on there? Should the US be providing all of the military funding that it is?

A: “I think Israel has every right to defend themselves. And so I think it’s not our job to get in the middle of that fight. And I think when you live in a certain place, it’s your decision as a sovereign nation to figure that out, and also to defend yourself. And so I don’t have any criticism for them for preventing themselves the ins and outs of who’s right and who’s wrong and what should happen. I think it’s something that people on the ground who lived there have to figure out and is it not really the job of the U.S. to figure out and be in the middle of.”

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