Sen. Rand Paul seized on a New York Times report showing many school-aged children already have antibodies from infection with other coronaviruses associated with common colds that could block the new SARS-CoV-2 strain causing the pandemic.
During a testy Sept. 23 Senate hearing, Paul repeatedly questioned Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, on the role preexisting cross-reactive immunity could play in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Paul cited countries in Asia that had seen slower spreads of the disease, noting that it’s possible their success could be attributed to immunity built up through coronavirus strains present in widespread common colds in those countries.
Fauci insisted no evidence suggested that was the case, instead pointing to mask mandates and social distancing efforts as being solely responsible for slowing the spread.
“You are not listening to what the director of the CDC said,” Fauci said. “If you believe 22% is herd immunity, I believe you’re alone in that.”
Fauci then claimed a recent study contradicted Paul’s hypothesis.
“I’d like to talk to you about that also because there was a study that recently came out that preexisting immunity to coronaviruses that are common cold do not cross-react with the COVID-19,” Fauci said.
Fauci did not immediately respond to a Washington Examiner request for comment on what study he was referencing.