LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Gov. Andy Beshear’s new coronavirus restrictions are receiving both cheers and jeers from Capitol Hill.
Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul told WDRB News that Beshear should not be making these decisions on his own.
"This is basically the dictates of one person, and that's a dangerous world to live in when one person gets to decide their interpretation of all the facts, and what they're going to do," said Paul.
Paul said he objects to Beshear closing indoor service at restaurants and bars.
"I think really we have to look at the objective evidence, and see what works and what doesn't work, and I don't think these mandates have worked to slow it down. What they do, though, is their catastrophic to the economy."
Paul said the governor’s order to stop in-person classes and go all virtual will do more harm than good, especially to disadvantaged and younger students.
"We're losing the education of these kids based not on science, but on the whims of the governor. It won't help at all," he said.
Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth said Beshear is doing what needs to be done to protect public health.
"I think these are perfectly justified at this point," Yarmuth said.
"We can't keep going with 3,000 infections a day in Kentucky. That's just not sustainable. Our hospitals, our health care delivery systems can't sustain that. So I think this is perfectly reasonable.”
Yarmuth said Beshear has shown "remarkable patience" in the wake of rising coronavirus cases – and rising criticism. He told Republican critics to either put-up or shut-up.
“They just want to sit there and criticize, and they never come up with any other ideas.”
Yarmuth challenged Paul directly.
“If Rand Paul wants to say there's no science behind it, what's his answer? Is his answer, ‘Get sick and die?’ ls that it?”
WDRB News asked Paul what he would do to fight the virus.
“I think the only thing we can do is speed up the vaccine at this point. Six feet away and washing hands, you can do it if it makes you feel better. It hasn't really worked at all. No evidence that it's worked. People will say that's too harsh, but it's just frankly true,” said Paul.
Paul said that does not mean he would just let the virus run its course. He said he would make recommendations, but no mandates.
“My whole life has been spent fighting against government dictating to us what we do, and it shouldn't be any difference in this,” he said.
“There could be good advice you take, but it really shouldn't be about one person saying, 'Oh this is my advice, take it or else.'”
Paul called on state lawmakers to demand a role in handling the pandemic.
“It should be debated in the legislature, and I'm calling on the leadership of our state legislature to demand that the governor bring them back into session,” said Paul.
The two also disagreed on new federal coronavirus relief. Yarmuth said a large package is needed to sustain the economy. Paul believes the economy will recover quickly if government gets out of the way.
They are two opposing views from two sides of the political aisle that reflect the division in the commonwealth and the country.
“The first responsibility of any public official, whether it's a governor, mayor, state legislator, congressman or president, is to protect the safety of his or her constituents,” said Yarmuth. “That's what Gov. Beshear is trying to do.”
“I object to Gov. Beshear thinking that he is the end-all, be-all, and he can dictate to the economy,” said Paul. “I object to what he is doing.”
Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.