Sen. Ted Cruz no longer wears a mask at the Capitol, falsely claiming 'everybody' in the Senate has been vaccinated against COVID-19
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), on the Senate subway on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Senator Ted Cruz stopped wearing a mask at the Capitol, CNN reports.
Cruz claimed "everyone" in the Senate was vaccinated, but that does not apply to all staff, reporters, and lawmakers.
The CDC continues to recommend vaccinated people wear a mask in public.
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Senator Ted Cruz stopped wearing a mask at the Capitol, according to a CNN report on Thursday.
The Texas Republican defended his decision, telling CNN that he has stopped wearing face covering since he received the COVID-19 vaccine and "everyone who works in the Senate" got his shots. However, not all congressional officials, reporters, and even senators were fully vaccinated.
In particular, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending vaccinated individuals continue to wear masks in public as the coronavirus pandemic is not over and scientists and public health experts still know the long-term effects of the gunfire. Safety precautions like wearing masks and social distancing are still needed right now, especially with rising cases and an ongoing introduction of vaccines in the US and the rest of the world.
Reporters pressed Cruz on the issue, but he pushed back, claiming, "CDC has said in small groups that people who have been vaccinated do not need to wear masks," according to CNN. During these comments, a maskless Cruz entered an elevator on the hill along with two of his aides who were wearing masks.
The CDC released guidance earlier this month that it would be considered a low risk for fully vaccinated individuals to meet indoors without masks, but without specifying how many people were. Hundreds of people, many of whom are not fully vaccinated, work in Congress.
This is not the first time Cruz has publicly violated public health guidelines on Capitol Hill during the pandemic. At a press conference last month, after being asked to put on a mask, Cruz told a reporter that he was "welcome to step down if you wish".
Cruz joins Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul, who refused to wear a mask at the Capitol, saying he has had full immunity to the virus since contracting it back in March last year. Scientists and public health experts have yet to determine the level of immunity achieved after receiving the virus and how long it lasts. Paul has often spoken to leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, quarreled.
The Senate does not mandate the wearing of masks, unlike the House, which introduced new mask requirements after at least four members of Congress tested positive after the January 6 uprising in the Capitol.
Cruz's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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