Ted Cruz will no longer wear a mask in the Senate despite CDC guidelines and rising coronavirus cases
Ted Cruz. (AFP)

As COVID-19 continues to rise across half the country and the CDC IS urging Americans to continue to practice social distancing and mask-wearing, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has decided he will no longer wear a mask while on Capitol Hill.

"At this point I've been vaccinated. Everybody working in the Senate has been vaccinated," the Texas Republican told CNN, which is false. About one in four members of Congress are refusing to be inoculated or to disclose their vaccination status as of last month. And many people who are not working in the Senate, but visiting Capitol Hill on business enter the building daily.

Axios reports COVID -19 is on the rise in half the country, including Texas, which saw an 18.5% increase in new cases from April 6 to April 13.

"At this point, virtually everyone here has been vaccinated. And everyone has the opportunity," Cruz added, after a reporter told him they and others had not been vaccinated.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is the only other Senator who has steadfastly refused to wear a mask. He also claims he is not and will not be vaccinated. Paul tested positive for coronavirus last year in March, which he falsely suggests makes him immune.

The COVID vaccine is highly-effective but not one-hundred percent. Current studies show in real-world examples it's 90% effective, and with 43% of Republicans across the country refusing to be vaccinated, America is a long way away from herd immunity.

Hours before Cruz made clear he will no longer wear a mask, Pfizer announced it will "likely" be necessary for Americans to get an annual booster shot, much like with the flu.

"We're still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19," the CDC notes in an April 2 update. "After you've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions—like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces—in public places until we know more."

Cruz has been working up to this moment. Last month he infamously refused a reporter's request to wear a mask, again falsely claiming CDC guidelines did not require him to.