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Ted Cruz denies reporter’s request to wear a mask: ‘You’re welcome to step away if you’d like’

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Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas) denied a reporter’s request that he wear a mask during a press conference on Wednesday.

While speaking at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington D.C., a reporter asked Cruz, “Would you mind putting on a mask for us?”

Cruz replied, “Uh, when I’m talking to the TV camera I’m not going to wear a mask,” adding that all his Senate colleagues have been immunized against COVID-19.

“It would make us feel better,” the reporter said.

“You’re welcome to step away if you’d like,” Cruz said. “The whole point of the vaccine — CDC guidance is what we’re following.”

Cruz later tweeted, “Lefty reporters have lost their minds. #commonsense.”

Cruz was speaking to reporters about the upcoming Congressional Delegation trip to the southern border on Friday.

Republican representatives have organized a trip to the border to hear directly from individuals affected by the border crisis.

Cruz will be joining Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) on the trip and they have extended the offer to the Democratic lawmakers in a letter addressed to Chairman Jerry Nadler on Wednesday.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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American and Southwest stand by vaccine mandate, despite Abbott’s ban

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Southwest shutterstock 606188015

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are still planning to comply with President Biden’s executive order regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The order requires all their employees to be vaccinated by Dec. 8t. As a result, they will be ignoring Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on vaccine mandates.

Abbott announced his own executive order, effectively banning mandates even from private employers, on Tuesday. “In another instance of federal overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’ continued recovery from the COVID-19 disaster,” Abbott said. “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced.”

Yet both airlines are requiring their employees to be vaccinated by Nov. 24. This comes despite Southwest’s impromptu cancellation of over 2,000 flights over the weekend. At the time, the airline blamed the cancellations on air traffic control and weather conditions. However, SaraACarter.com was unable to verify that any other airline had to cancel near as many flights for the same reasons. This has left many to speculate that Southwest actually cancelled flights due to their employees walking out as a direct result of the mandate.

Reporter Jack Posobiec tweeted out a flyer circulating among the anti-vaxx Southwest employees. Currently, they are planning a protest outside of Southwest headquarters next Monday. The protest will be called “Freedom Not Force.”

Southwest told Reuters it “would be expected to comply with the President’s Order to remain compliant as a federal contractor.” In addition, American similarly said Abbott’s order does not change anything.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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