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Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Rand Paul Confronts Johns Hopkins Nursing Dean Over Vaccine Mandates
On Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) confronted Dr. Sarah Szanton, the “pro-choice” dean of the School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins University, over its policies that required students to have three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to stay enrolled.
“Dr. Szanton, are you pro-choice with regard to patients making individualized medical choices?” Paul asked.
“Broadly, thank you, yes,” she answered.
“Are you aware that your university doesn’t allow choice with regard to vaccination, that you require all of your students to have three vaccines in order to be students?” Paul pressed.
Paul then asked Szanton if she was aware of the increased risk of myocarditis in males ages 16 to 24 who receive “successive covid vaccination.” She refused to answer.
“Senator, thank you for the question. I’m prepared to talk about the nursing crisis and we have vaccine requirements across the board for -”
“Here’s the problem,” Paul interjected. “If you exclude everybody from being a nurse who believes in basic immunology, you’re going to include a lot of smart people. People who believe that you can get immunity from both vaccination as well as infection. And if you say, ‘well, we’re just not going to take the people who believe in that old fashioned infection thing providing immunity, we’re only going to take the people who will do as they’re told,’ I mean do you think individuals should be treated the same when they come to the emergency room?” Paul said and provided an example of a healthy 16-year-old coming to the emergency room with chest pain, as well as a “68-year-old obese diabetic.”
“You think they get treated the same in the emergency room? The difference is based on age. We used to always make differences even on the flu vaccine. We advised it for people at risk. We’ve done this forever. This is the first done it, we’re now doing it with an experimental vaccine when it’s not been approved,” he continued.
Paul, who is an ophthalmologist, has been opposed to vaccine mandates, particularly in the United States military. This year, he joined legislation with other Republicans to reinstate service members who were booted out because they refused to get vaccinated.
In the hearing, Paul pointed out that Dr. Marty Makary at Johns Hopkins has pointed out the risk that the COVID-19 vaccine poses for young men and women
“He says it's 28 times more likely to get myocarditis from the vaccine than from covid for a particular cohort of young men,” Paul explained. “It affects the Marines, and it affects everybody else. We finally fixed it with the Marines. We’re not making them do it anymore.”
He noted that several countries, including Germany, Sweden, and Denmark, do not mandate university students to get vaccinated.
“There really is a debate and discussion you can have…if you believe in choice, when something has a debate and there’s arguments on both sides, you give people a choice,” he said.