Cruz no longer wearing mask in Capitol

(R-Texas) said on Thursday that he will no longer be wearing a mask at the Capitol since he is fully vaccinated.

“At this point I’ve been vaccinated. Everybody working in the Senate has been vaccinated,” Cruz told CNN. “CDC has said in small groups, particularly with people who were vaccinated, don’t need to wear masks.”

Cruz and many other lawmakers have been fully vaccinated against the virus, but the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is still recommending vaccinated people wear masks in large groups of people since many have not been fully vaccinated yet.

Some Capitol staffers and reporters are still waiting to be fully vaccinated, with one reporter asking Cruz last month to wear a mask during a press event. 

“Uh, yeah, when I’m talking in front of the TV cameras I’m not going to wear a mask,” Cruz told the reporter. “And all of us have been immunized, so…” 

“You’re welcome to step away if you like. The whole point of a vaccine … CDC guidance is what we’re following,” he added.

The House requires that lawmakers wear masks, but the Senate does not. 

Cruz is joining Sen. (R-Kan.) in walking around the Capitol and on the Senate floor without a mask.

Wearing a mask after being fully vaccinated has become another political fight between Democrats and Republicans, with Democrats saying masks are still needed and Republicans arguing that a vaccine is pointless if you can’t go back to living life before the pandemic began. 

Health officials say the U.S. needs to aim for herd immunity before significant changes are made, which won’t happen until 70 to 85 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

The Hill has reached out to Cruz’s office for comment.

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