As a physician in practice for over 25 years, I applaud fellow physician, Senator Rand Paul, for exposing Dr. Fauci’s continued non-scientific COVID-19 recommendations.

Dr. Paul rightly pointed out recently that there are no studies that prove that people who have recovered from COVID-19 or who have been fully vaccinated can transmit the virus to others and yet, Fauci recommends that fully vaccinated individuals continue to wear masks. Fauci’s only response is that variant strains of the virus might pose a problem, an assertion for which he has no data to support.

By that logic, a new strain of any virus could become a pandemic and we should therefore all wear masks for the rest of our lives. That is not science, it is fearmongering and goes against all we know about how vaccines and immunity work. Why not masks for a potential measles variant?

At the onset of the pandemic, Fauci told us masks provided no real protection, only to later say double masking “intuitively” makes sense. Intuition is what made 18th century doctors bleed people to release supposed “evil humors.” Public health decisions, especially ones restricting individual liberty (be it lockdowns or masks) need to be based on double-blinded controlled studies of patients, not studies in the laboratory or someone’s intuition.

If we are to end this pandemic and return to normalcy, we need to encourage people to be vaccinated and that will not occur if an already skeptical public is implicitly told the vaccine changes nothing. Instead, Fauci and other medical professionals should lead by example by taking off our masks and demonstrating that vaccination is both safe and effective. Instead, Fauci seems more concerned with remaining relevant for he knows, when COVID is history, so is his time in the limelight.