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Sherrod Brown calls Rand Paul 'kind of a lunatic' for not wearing mask

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal How Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress Democrats reintroduce bill to create 'millionaires surtax' MORE (D-Ohio) targeted Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul does not support a national minimum wage increase — and it's important to understand why Fauci to Chelsea Clinton: The 'phenomenal amount of hostility' I face is 'astounding' GOP's attacks on Fauci at center of pandemic message MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday for refusing to wear a face mask in the Senate, calling him “kind of a lunatic.”

Brown, speaking to reporters during a visit to a mass vaccination site in Columbus, Ohio, was asked about colleagues who do not wear face coverings and mentioned Paul in response, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The Ohio Democrat said most of his colleagues do wear masks amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but added, "One of them that's an M.D., isn't, but he's kind of a lunatic," the newspaper reported.

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“He thinks he wants to be different, but it doesn't serve the public interest,” Brown added.

The Democratic lawmaker, who is fully vaccinated, wore a mask during the visit to the vaccination site, the Enquirer noted.

Paul fired back in a statement, saying, "Vaccine deniers, who dispute immunity after natural infection and after vaccination, should refrain from name-calling and perhaps try to get informed." 

Paul, who tested positive for COVID-19 last year, has argued that people who have recovered from the disease are immune.

The Kentucky senator clashed with Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: US surpasses 600K COVID-19 deaths | Federal watchdog to examine NIH grants, likely including Wuhan funding CDC labels highly transmissible delta strain a COVID-19 'variant of concern' Federal watchdog to examine NIH grants, likely including Wuhan funding MORE, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, over the topic during a hearing in March.

Fauci criticized Paul's stance and maintained that people who have recovered from COVID-19 or are vaccinated against the disease should continue wearing masks, warning about other coronavirus variants.

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"You're telling everyone to wear a mask," Paul said. "If we're not spreading the infection, isn't it just theater? You have the vaccine and you're wearing two masks, isn't that theater?"

"Here we go again with the theater," Fauci responded.

Brown's comments Tuesday follow similar remarks he made earlier this year about wearing masks, with the Democrat demanding in front of the entire Senate that Paul wear a face covering in the upper chamber.

--Updated at 1:07 p.m.