Sen. Paul Defies WKU Mask Policy, Asserts Trump's Right to Challenge Election

Nov 9, 2020

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-KY, spoke at Western Kentucky University on Nov. 09, 2020.
Credit Lisa Autry

U.S. Senator Rand Paul moved a presentation at Western Kentucky University on Monday outdoors, rather than put on a mask in compliance with the school’s COVID-19 policy

Senator Rand Paul was promoting his book The Case Against Socialism to a group of economics students when an administrator interrupted the Republican lawmaker to inform him of WKU’s mask policy.  Calling it ridiculous, Paul moved the class outdoors and continued speaking without a mask.  Paul said he thinks generalizing the risk of the coronavirus to everyone is wrong.

“I think each individual should get to make their choice on what their risks are," Paul said. "For young people under age 25, the death rate from the coronavirus is one in a million.”

Sen. Paul stated that students were more likely to die in a car accident or by falling off a ladder than they were to die from COVID-19. 

An ophthalmologist by trade, Paul also said he’s already had COVID-19 and is immune to the virus.  Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said last month there have been "a number of cases" worldwide reported as re-infections. 

The incident at WKU came just days after Kentucky experienced its worst week yet for new cases of COVID-19.  

Paul's comments came on the same day that President-elect Joe Biden announced a Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board

Paul was asked if Congress should pass another coronavirus relief package which has been stalled for months.

“We don’t have any money. There’s no rainy day account, no savings account," the Bowling Green Republican said. "I think it’s irresponsible to give people money you don’t have.”

During his appearance at WKU, Paul also addressed the presidential election, saying President Trump has every legal right to challenge the results of the Nov. 3 election. Paul said the high number of absentee ballots cast in the general election makes fraud more likely.

“I don’t know if there’s fraud, but we ought to investigate to see if there’s fraud," he said. "If there were a million votes cast, maybe in Pennsylvania, absentee, should we not make sure they were eligible voters? If they were supposed to sign the form, was the form signed? Should the postmark be checked to see if it was postmarked before the election? We have rules. We should obey the rules.”

There has been no evidence of voter fraud.  

Sen. Paul said if the election results remain unchanged, he thinks there will be a smooth transfer of power from President Trump to President-Elect Joe Biden.  Paul also said he's ready to work with Biden just as he has with other Democratic leaders, including former president Barack Obama on the issue of criminal justice reform.