CNSNews.com doesn't really like Dr. Anthony Fauci -- it once published an op-ed accusing him of being an example of "scientific authoritarianism." It does, however, love Sen. Rand Paul's attacks on him -- so much so, in fact, that it hid the fact that Fauci owned Paul in their most recent clash.
CNS had been building up to this for a while. A February article touted how Paul, "a medical doctor, said that if you have had COVID or been vaccinated against the virus and are several weeks out from your second dose, you should 'throw your mask away and tell Dr. Fauci to take a leap.'" (Paul is actually an opthmamologist and has no expertise in Fauci's specialty of epidemiology.) An anonymously written March 18 article tried to pedentically play gotcha on Fauci's mask-wearing:
When he testified on Thursday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, started out conspicuously wearing two masks—a black one over a white one.
When he made his opening statement to the committee, he took both masks off, laying them on the table in front of him, and spoke to the committee with no mask.
After this initial presentation, 29 minutes into the hearing, Fauci put both masks back on, according to the CSPAN video of the hearing.
As the hearing approached its 57th minute, and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D.-Wisc.) was asking questions, the CSPAN video showed that Dr. Fauci was now wearing only one mask—the white one that had originally laid under his black mask.
That same day, an article by Bannister cheered Paul lashing out at Fauci:
“You’re making policy based on conjecture,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a physician, told President Joe Biden’s White House medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Thursday at a Senate hearing on COVID-19 response.
Sen. Paul repeatedly asked Dr. Fauci to cite any evidence that people who have been vaccinated against the virus still need to wear a mask because they’re still at risk of contracting the virus again. Dr. Fauci did not respond, other than to say that the threat of presumed “variants” of the virus might still possibly be able to infect the vaccinated.
Sen. Paul said Fauci, who has been vaccinated, was going out in public wearing two masks simply “for show”:
Bannister gave Paul a pass on his false claim that "There is virtually zero percent chance you're going to get" coronavirus if you have previously had the virus or are vaccinated; in fact, there is always the risk of catching the virus or its variants, albeit reduced, despite a vaccine or prior infection. And Bannister censored Fauci's rull response to Paul, as documented by an actual news organization:
Fauci said that, despite the lack of reinfections thus far, we don’t have significant data in two very relevant areas: Whether people who get the vaccine or who have contracted the virus can still spread it, and whether variants of the coronavirus might override any existing immunity. He bristled at the idea that his personal use of masks was “theater.”
“No it’s not,” Fauci said before suggesting, as he has previously, that the true theater was being promulgated by Paul. “Here we go again with the theater.”
Fauci went on to address the specific study Paul had cited that supposedly indicated “everybody agrees they have immunity.” He noted it was not as conclusive as Paul suggested when it came to protection. The study was from, among others, Shane Crotty and Alessandro Sette at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, whom Fauci referenced.
“Let’s get down to the facts,” Fauci said. “The studies that you quote from Crotty and Sette look at in vitro examination of memory immunity, which in their paper, they specifically say this does not necessarily pertain to the actual protection. It’s in vitro.”
Indeed, the study says exactly that.
“Although immune memory is the source of long-term protective immunity, direct conclusions about protective immunity cannot be made on the basis of quantifying SARS-CoV-2 circulating antibodies,” the study says, “ … because mechanisms of protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 are not defined in humans.”
Fauci’s point wasn’t that people definitely can’t spread the virus after infection or vaccination but that it’s hardly as certain as Paul suggested.
CNS couldn't tell its readers thatP aul got owned by Fauci -- that would hurt its narrative, even though it was the truth.