(Screen Grab: Newsmax TV)

By Duncan Smith

Sen. Rand Paul said during an interview with Newsmax TV Wednesday that he believes it’s time to reopen the country and get the economy rolling again before the damage gets worse.

He also commented on his remarks to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration’s top immunologist, during the latter’s congressional testimony on Tuesday in which he expressed caution about reopening.

During an appearance on “Greg Kelly Reports” Tuesday night, Paul said decisions need to include everyone from all sides of the issue, not just the advice of Fauci.

“We should take with a grain of salt these people. They’re not omniscient. That doesn’t mean Dr. Fauci’s a bad person; I actually think he’s a knowledgeable intellectual, someone who’s trying their best. He’s a very, very cautious person,” Paul said.

“When he said that we’re not gonna have any school, or implied that we shouldn’t open schools, my response was a factual one. Should we look and see what the mortality rate is among schoolchildren? It turns out from age zero to 18, it approaches zero. It literally is close to zero.

“If he is a scientist, it should be based on science,” Paul said.

He added that the country — and Congress, as well as the White House — now need frank discussions about where the United States ought to go from this point.

So much of the country has relatively little coronavirus illnesses and deaths, but we’ve been operating pretty much under a blanket policy of shutting down schools and so-called ‘non-essential’ businesses.

“The future is difficult and we shouldn’t assume that one guy with a Ph.D. or an M.D. knows everything about the future,” Paul said.

“Every school was closed and not one kid was sick in Kentucky. Is that an overreach? I don’t know,” the Kentucky Republican notes further. “We have 600,000 people out of work in Kentucky now. We’ve got devastating numbers where we’re gonna bankrupt the state again on unemployment, even though we’ve given $3 trillion out.

“There’s not enough money in China, there’s not enough money to be printed at the Federal Reserve. We’ve gotta open the economy and we have to be reasonable about this. We can’t wait for perfection. That’s my gripe with Dr. Fauci,” said Paul.

“Not that he’s a disingenuous person or he doesn’t have the right motives. I think he does. I think he wants what’s best for the country. But so do I, and we have to have a debate over whether we keep the economy closed. I don’t think it can go on forever.”

Others are also beginning to question the White House’s overreliance only on Fauci’s counsel, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who likened Fauci to a “dictator” with more power than he’s ever had in his career.

And another talk host, Mark Levin, has said there are more experts in the country — scientists who have actually been doing coronavirus research, unlike Fauci — who say we should never have quarantined healthy people to begin with because it has deprived us of the “herd immunity” we need to beat back the virus’ spread.

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