Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will no longer wear a face mask as he walks the U.S. Capitol and goes to the Senate floor after being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a report.
“At this point, I’ve been vaccinated. Everybody working in the Senate has been vaccinated,” Cruz told CNN on Thursday.
Cruz has followed the footsteps of a fellow senator, Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who also ditched his mask—which isn’t a requirement for members in the Senate, but it is for those in the House.
Paul, 58, unlike Cruz, hasn’t been fully vaccinated against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, but he tested positive for the virus last year and has COVID-19 antibodies. He is one of at least three U.S. senators who have declined to get inoculated, at least for now.
Paul suggested last month that people like himself who have tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered are not immediately required to get a vaccine because they have antibodies.
“About 30 million people have gotten the infection naturally like myself,” Paul told reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. “The interesting thing is that [there is] no more than a handful of reports of people getting it again, so there’s every indication that having been infected with it provides strong natural immunity.”
“I’m going with the science on this one,” he added. “I have not chosen to be vaccinated because I got it naturally and the science of 30 million people and the statistical validity of a 30-million sample is pretty overwhelming that natural immunity exists and works.”
Paul noted that he has spoken in support of getting vaccinated for those who haven’t been infected with COVID-19.
COVID-19 is caused by the CCP virus, commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus, which originated in China in late 2019.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends those who have been fully vaccinated to “keep taking precautions” and wear a mask in public and socially distance as health officials continue to learn “how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19.”
Vaccines do not give the recipient 100 percent immunity and health officials said a person who is fully vaccinated doesn’t know if they possibly carry an asymptomatic infection that could spread to someone else.
However, CDC guidelines say those who have been fully vaccinated are allowed to gather with other people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing—unless anyone near them has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
The guidance doesn’t mention those who may have gained some level of immunity from being infected, and recovering, from the CCP virus.