Sen. Ted Cruz says he is done with wearing a mask at the Capitol because he has been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Ted Cruz joined his Republican colleagues, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., in ditching face coverings. Defending his decision, “everybody working in the Senate” has also received their shots he no longer chooses to do a face-covering. Cruz told CNN.
In the House, members and aides are required to wear masks, but the Senate has no such rule.
Americans have almost no chance of contracting COVID-19 once fully vaccinated. The record shows that out of 76.6 million Americans who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, about 5,800 people have later tested positive for the virus, an infection rate of 0.008%, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.
CDC guidelines on what one can and cannot do post-vaccination are relatively restrictive, recommending people stay away from medium to large gatherings and maintain social distancing and wear masks while in public settings. According to the CDC, vaccinated people can unmask in private settings with a group of people who have also been vaccinated. Vaccinated people may also travel via plane with being tested before and after or quarantining.
Whether to wear a mask after vaccination has broken out into a political debate. Republicans say encouraging masks and distancing after vaccination disincentivizes getting the jab, while Democrats say the vaccine doesn’t provide 100% immunity, especially in the face of variants.
“If you have immunity, you’re wearing a mask to give comfort to others. You’re not wearing a mask because of any science,” Paul told Dr. Anthony Fauci in a heated disagreement last month.
Health officials have said that those who have been vaccinated can gather with other vaccinated people in small groups in a private setting.
They’ve said the U.S. needs to reach herd immunity, when 70 to 85 percent of the population has been vaccinated, before reassessing guidelines for large gatherings.
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