Senate Hearing Shows Need for Pushback
This Tuesday, May 12th, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing entitled, “COVID-19: Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School.” Like the rest of the country conducting business over the web, the Senate held the hearing in a manner to comply with social distancing. Some participants used video conference, while others were actually in the hearing room. But, don’t worry… they were all 6-feet apart with masks and hand sanitizer within hands reach.
In his opening remarks, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) told those in attendance the purpose of the hearing is to “examine how well we are preparing to go safely back to work and school and determine what else we need to do in the Senate.” The witnesses included four Administration health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci. Not surprising, Fauci doubled down on the federal guidelines for states desiring to re-open. After Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) told him to “tell us what the consequences are” from reopening too early, Fauci said that he is concerned that states will “jump over various checkpoints and prematurely open up without having the capability to respond and we will see little spikes that will result in outbreaks.” A few minutes later, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) asked him to reiterate this claim.
This is the same fearmongering that has been rampant since the pandemic broke out earlier this year. Simply because unelected Washington bureaucrats make a claim, doesn’t mean that states must blindly follow. Fed up with this, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) took a stand saying, “As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don’t think you’re the end-all. I don’t think you’re the one person who gets to make a decision.” He rightly stated that the country should be using all tools and observations in deciding what’s best for communities: “It’s not to say this isn’t deadly, but really, outside of New England, we’ve had a relatively benign course for this virus nationwide. And I think the one-size-fits-all, that we’re going to have a national strategy and nobody is going to go to school, is kind of ridiculous. We really ought to be doing it school district by school district, and the power needs to be dispersed because people make wrong predictions.”
We can only hope that states will follow Senator Paul’s lead and continue reopen initiatives. Most of Washington has forgotten that it’s not just people’s health at risk, but also their livelihoods.
Join us as we talk about the new Coronavirus stimulus package that Congress will vote on in the next week. We will also chat with Eagle Forum of Georgia’s President Susan Voyle on the status of her state’s reopening.