In an interview with John Castimatidis on WABC 770 AM , Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said he would not be getting vaccinated for COVID-19.
Sen. Paul said he’s making the decision because he already had the virus and has “natural immunity.” He was the first known member of the Senate to be diagnosed with coronavirus in March 2020
Known for being critical of COVID-19 restrictions nationally and in Kentucky, Paul had an intense exchange with top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, during a Senate hearing about masking and COVID-19 re-infection rates.
Additionally, Paul previously asserted that Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear‘s restrictions were not rooted in science and “illegal.”
“Until they show me evidence that people who have already had the infection are dying in large numbers, or being hospitalized or getting very sick, I just made my own personal decision that I’m not getting vaccinated because I’ve already had the disease and I have natural immunity now,” Paul said in the interview with Castimatidis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that individuals who have already had COVID-19 are encouraged to get the vaccine. The CDC says experts do not know how long natural antibodies against the virus last.
Paul reinforced his decision by saying that getting vaccinated should be a personal choice and that vaccinations should not be required.
“In a free country, you would think people would honor the idea that each individual would get to make the medical decision, that it wouldn’t be a big brother coming to tell me what I have to do,” the senator said.
Close to two million individuals have been vaccinated in Kentucky.
Rand Paul is not the only U.S. Senator to refuse to be vaccinated. Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican, has said he hasn’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccine because he was also previously infected with the coronavirus.
In total, 4 out of 50 Republican Senators are either refusing the vaccine or refusing to disclose their vaccination status publicly. All 50 Democratic Senators have reported being vaccinated.