Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says that he'd challenge attempts by a prospective Joe Biden administration to lock down the United States over the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Today, Biden is talking more about a lockdown. This is absolutely why he's going to be a terrible president. If we get him, he’s going to ruin the country," Paul said Nov. 15 on WABC Radio.
"Lockdowns don’t work," he said. "And in fact, all of the evidence on mandatory masks show that they don’t work either. We've had 10 different countries or venues, maybe 20, that instituted mandatory masks. And every one of them, to a T, the infection rate, or the COVID rate, went up after the mask mandate.
"All these mitigation strategies—washing our hands, staying six feet apart—they really don’t work, frankly. And the virus, as The Wall Street Journal put it, is insidious. It's going to do what it’s going to do. The only thing that’s going to stop it is either enough immunity among individuals in the community or a vaccine," he said.
"I’m going to do everything I can to try to prevent Biden from locking us up and locking us down and forcing us to wear masks forever. We can’t go on like this forever."
Paul, who tested positive for the virus in March, has been one of the most aggressive questioners of public health officials during congressional hearings on the government's response to the pandemic, getting into tense exchanges with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert and a member of the White House coronavirus task force.
After backlash, Biden adviser Dr. Michael Osterholm said he didn't think such a lockdown would pan out.
Other Biden health advisers fanned out to various morning shows and outlets to outline a strategy of targeted lockdowns that a Biden administration would deploy. A national lockdown would face strong pushback from Republicans.
Several states have recently reimposed lockdowns, including Oregon, New Mexico, and Washington state.
While some experts believe they're an important tool during the pandemic, others point to the lack of data showing effectiveness and the severe secondary effects, such as job losses, more mental health issues, and a rise in suicides.