Sen. Rand Paul has joined the chorus of conservative lawmakers opposed to what are being referred to as "vaccine passports."
In an op-ed for The Hill, Paul sounds the alarm on any effort to use individuals' COVID-19 health or vaccination records to determine things like travel eligibility — labeling such mandates a move toward "vaccine fascism."
The Bowling Green senator says he's supportive of vaccines, but warns of government overreach in the fight against the pandemic, frequently sparring with White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci.
"If you already have immunity, you're wearing a mask to give comfort to others. You're not wearing a mask because of any science," Paul said in a charged hearing in March.
"I totally disagree with you," Fauci responded, arguing that the senator is ignoring the unknowns surrounding emerging variants of the virus. Researchers are still gathering evidence on the overall effectiveness of the vaccines against the mutations.
Paul concludes his editorial by encouraging everyone to get the vaccine if you "think you need or want it," then goes on to urge those readers to "throw away their masks, demand their schools be open, and live your lives free of more government mandates."