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Sen. Ted Cruz

Photo by NSPA & ACP 2020 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) says he will not wear a mask when on television because he's been vaccinated and falsely claims CDC guidance states he does not have to.

"Would you mind putting a mask on for us?" a reporter off-camera asked the Texas Republican Senator as he was about to speak.

"Uh, when I'm talking to the TV camera I'm not going to wear a mask," Cruz said quickly, making a gesture around his face, "and all of us have been immunized, so," he added, pointing to his Senate colleagues behind him. Reports say more than one-quarter of members of Congress are refusing the vaccine but there is no public record of who has been vaccinated and who is refusing.

"It would make us feel better," the reporter urged.

"You're welcome to step away if you like," Cruz replied, effectively suggesting reporters working on the front lines shouldn't expect elected representatives to follow the rules to keep them and others safe from the coronavirus.

The reporter did not respond. Cruz paused, uncomfortably grinning, then declared that was "the whole point of a vaccine."

He added, "CDC guidance is what we're following."

Sen. Cruz is wrong. The whole point of the vaccine is to keep people from getting sick and dying. His refusal to wear a mask, vaccinated or not, does not fulfill that goal – especially since the vaccine is not one-hundred percent effective. Studies appear to show those vaccinated are less likely to spread the virus but that has not been confirmed and even if true, again, not at a one-hundred percent rate.

Cruz is also wrong about what the CDC recommends for those who have been fully vaccinated.

CDC says fully vaccinated people should continue to: "Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing," and "Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease."

Also, President Joe Biden's executive order "requires anyone working in or visiting federal buildings or federal lands to wear masks, maintain physical distance, and adhere to other public health measures, as provided in CDC guidelines."

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