Paul’s comments come after more than 3,200 pages of Fauci’s emails were obtained by Buzzfeed in a Freedom of Information Act request and posted online Tuesday.
The emails shed light on what the nation’s top infectious disease expert was thinking during the early days of the pandemic, including an exchange that showed Fauci remained skeptical of the efficacy of face masks in February of last year.
"Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection," Fauci wrote in response to one person who was concerned about the use of masks on her upcoming trip.
"The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material. It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keep out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you,” Fauci continued. "I do not recommend that you wear a mask, particularly since you are going to a very low risk location.”
Fauci was also warned by Director of the Scripps Research Institute Kristian Andersen that COVID-19’s “unusual features” could make the virus “(potentially) look engineered.”
"We have a good team lined up to look very critically at this, so we should know much more at the end of the weekend," Andersen wrote to Fauci as part of a chain of emails.