Sanjay Gupta slams Ted Cruz for lying that CDC guidelines say he can go maskless around reporters

On CNN Thursday, Dr. Sanjay Gupta tore into Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his false claim that CDC guidance says he can go maskless around reporters because he has received his vaccine.

"We want your diagnosis, doctor, on the curious case of Ted Cruz," said anchor John Berman. "Let's listen to this."

"When I'm talking to the TV camera, I'm not going to wear a mask," said Cruz in the clip. "You're welcome to step away if you'd like. The whole point of a vaccine — CDC guidance is what we're following."

"So charming, right?" said Gupta. "No, actually, it's not. The CDC guidance — and I just pulled it up again because the guidance does change, admittedly — but even if you've been fully vaccinated, you need to keep taking precautions in public places, wearing a mask, staying six feet apart, avoiding crowds. So it's just not the case."

"I mean, I realize this mirrors a conversation that most of society is having right now in terms of what can you do if you have been fully vaccinated," said Gupta. "The concern is that for him, he's pretty well protected, admittedly, against getting severely ill, requiring hospitalization. I don't know which vaccine he got, but they're all pretty good at preventing that. First of all, they're not perfect. You can still get sick. Also, the big wild card here, as we've talked about, are these variants. Even though he should be very well protected against severe illness and hospitalization from the variants, he may not be as well protected against moderate illness, mild illness and the possibility that he could still transmit the virus to somebody else."

"So when he's not wearing a mask, he's potentially putting other people in that room at risk. It's as simple as that," said Gupta. "We've been talking about this for months now. That equation doesn't change yet. When enough people have been vaccinated, when we have reduced viral transmission rates low, that's when we can start to pull back on this."

Watch below:

Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Ted Cruz's claim he can go maskless around reporters