- Sen. Rand Paul was spotted by reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday without a mask, even though many lawmakers now wear face coverings on the recommendation of the CDC.
- Paul tested positive for the coronavirus in March but was asymptomatic.
- He caused an uproar and prompted two senators to self-quarantine when it was revealed he went to the Capitol while awaiting his test results.
- Paul said he did not need to wear a mask because "I have immunity. I've already had the virus."
- While Dr. Anthony Fauci has said people who have recovered from the coronavirus would likely have some immunity, the World Health Organization has said there's no evidence that people who've recovered are protected.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
2020欧洲杯足彩外围appOn Tuesday, weeks after he tested positive for the coronavirus and subsequently recovered, Sen. Rand Paul visited the Capitol but refused to wear a mask.
2020欧洲杯足彩外围appWhen he was asked by reporters why he'd foregone the protective covering, Paul, an ophthalmologist who still , said he had immunity and could not spread the virus.
2020欧洲杯足彩外围app"I have immunity. I've already had the virus," Paul said on Tuesday.
—Burgess Everett (@burgessev)
The has recommended that Americans wear nonmedical face coverings to offer a means of protection for themselves and other people, in addition to social distancing and handwashing. Many members of Congress now wear masks in the complex, though they will frequently remove them to speak on the House and Senate floors.
Paul caused an uproar in March when he tested positive for the coronavirus but continued to visit the Capitol as he awaited test results. Though he was asymptomatic, two of his colleagues, Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney of Utah, self-quarantined after coming into contact with him.
"So I can't get it again, and I can't give it to anybody," Paul added. "So of all the people you'll meet here, I'm about the only safe person in Washington."
But when it comes to immunity to the coronavirus, there's a lot that's still unknown because the contagion is so new.
—Burgess Everett (@burgessev)
Last month, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert, said, "Generally we know with infections like this, that at least for a reasonable period of time, you're going to have antibodies that are going to be protective."
But researchers have not yet definitively found that having the coronavirus will automatically impart immunity. The World Health Organization that there was "currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection."
And because the virus is so new, researchers are still studying its transmission.
"We don't have nearly the immunological or biological data at this point to say that if someone has a strong enough immune response that they are protected from symptoms … that they cannot be transmitters," Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told .
Paul's office did not immediately return a request for comment on Tuesday. On Wednesday, to defend his decision not to wear a mask, Paul tweeted an article from Business Insider that covered Fauci's comments on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" about coronavirus immunity.
Fauci had told host Trevor Noah that scientists could not be 100% sure, but he was "really confident" that recovered coronavirus patients would have immunity.
—Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul)
Paul is not the only Republican lawmaker to forgo a mask, but he is the only senator who has announced he tested positive for the virus.
2020欧洲杯足彩外围appCongress' Office of the Attending Physician (OAP) has recommended that members and visitors wear masks, according to a hearing notice from the House Appropriations Committee.
2020欧洲杯足彩外围app"The OAP recommends all individuals maintain 6-foot social distance spacing as much as practicable when in the Capitol Complex," the email said. "Additionally, on the advice of the OAP, the use of a face covering is recommended for all attendees of this proceeding."
Some Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have faced questions about why they have chosen not to wear a mask on Capitol Hill.
2020欧洲杯足彩外围app"If you noticed, where we did not wear masks is where we had social distancing," McCarthy said on a recent call with reporters when asked about the times he did not wear a mask on the House floor.
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a press release for devising safety guidelines for returning members and wrote, "I strongly urge my colleagues to consult these guidelines as we carefully resume in-person work."
Kimberly Leonard contributed to this report.
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