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WASHINGTON D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – Republican Senator Rand Paul sharply criticized the Biden administration’s push for vaccination and its refusal to acknowledge natural immunity during a hearing on Thursday. 

“Mr. Becerra, are you familiar with an Israeli study that had 2.5 million patients and found that the vaccinated group was actually seven times more likely to get infected with COVID than the people who had gotten COVID naturally,” Paul asked Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra.

Becerra, who is tasked with overseeing the public health infrastructure for the country, said he is not familiar with the study. 

“I think you might want to be if you’re going to travel the country insulting the millions of Americans, including NBA star Jonathan Isaac, who have had COVID, recovered, look at a study with 2.5 million people, and say, well, you know what, I should make the decision. Instead, you’ve called Jonathan Isaac and others, myself included, ‘flat earthers,’” Paul said.

Orlando Magic player Jonathan Isaac said on Monday that he does not plan to get jabbed because he has already been infected with COVID. 

Becerra appeared virtually on September 21 to a health policy forum in Kentucky, Paul’s home state. During his comments, Becerra blamed people who have chosen not to get jabbed for the pandemic. 

“Because some ‘flat earthers,’ especially those in places of influence, choose to peddle fiction, we’re losing more of our loved ones today than we were a few months ago,” Becerra said, according to Spectrum 1 News. It is not clear if Becerra specifically was talking about Paul, who has had COVID and recovered from it. The ophthalmologist has said he does not plan on getting jabbed because the natural immunity from his antibodies is stronger than the inoculation. 

The senator asked Becerra if he had a science degree or a medical degree. Becerra does not have either background.  

“You’re not a medical doctor. Do you have a science degree?” Paul said. 

“And yet you travel the country, calling people ‘flat earthers’ who have had COVID, looked at studies of millions of people,” Paul said, “and made their own personal decision that their immunity they naturally acquired is sufficient but you presume somehow to tell over 100 million Americans who survived COVID that we have no right to determine our own medical care.”

“You alone are on high and you’ve made these decisions, a lawyer with no scientific background, no medical degree. This is an arrogance coupled with an authoritarianism that is unseemly and un-American.”

“You, sir, are the one ignoring the science,” Paul said. “Quit lording it over people, acting as if these people are deplorable and unwashed,” he continued, adding that “there is no more basic medical right than deciding what we inject into our bodies.”

Becerra said his background is in “health policy.” 

But specifically, that policy experience includes suing Catholic religious sisters, pregnancy resource centers, and pro-life journalists. 

As Attorney General of California, Becerra enforced the state’s “Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency (FACT) Act,” that required pregnancy resource centers to promote abortion. The pregnancy resource centers won their Supreme Court case in 2018. 

He also filed criminal charges against journalist David Daleiden, who exposed the abortion industry’s role in fetal body part trafficking. The case is currently being appealed. 

Becerra also lost a 2020 Supreme Court case against the Little Sisters of the Poor. California sought to force the Catholic nuns to pay for abortifacients as part of their health insurance plan. 

As Paul noted, Becerra’s health policy background somehow has not led him to have an understanding of the benefits of natural immunity, which has been well-documented. 

Professor Martin Kulldorff, an epidemiologist who teaches at Harvard University’s medical school, has said that an Israeli study about natural immunity has weakened the argument for “vaccine passports.” 

It is not clear if Senator Paul’s comments about an Israeli natural immunity study referred to the August 25 paper that found that “vaccinated individuals had 27 times higher risk of symptomatic COVID infection compared to those with natural immunity from prior COVID disease,” according to Kulldorff’s summary. 

The study looked at over 60,000 individuals but drew from a pool of over 2 million people, so it is possible Paul misspoke.  

A June 2021 study of Cleveland Clinic employees also found that natural immunity had lasting protection. 

“The cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection remained almost zero among previously infected unvaccinated subjects, previously infected subjects who were vaccinated, and previously uninfected subjects who were vaccinated,” the paper said.