"As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don't think you're the end-all," Senator Rand Paul said during the expert's testimony to a U.S. Senate committee. "I don't think you're the one person who gets to make a decision."
A member of President Donald Trump's Republican Party, Paul questioned the accuracy of models predicting the pandemic's path. He said he believed it would be a huge mistake not to reopen schools.
"We don't know everything about this virus," Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had said. "And we'd really better be very careful, particularly when it comes to children.
"I think we'd better be careful that we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects."
Fauci referred to a rare inflammatory syndrome believed to be linked to the novel coronavirus, which has killed at least three children in New York and afflicted dozens of others.
The syndrome shares symptoms with toxic shock and Kawasaki disease, including fever, skin rashes, swelling of the glands, and in severe cases, inflammation of arteries of the heart.