Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz described a Wednesday confrontation he had with a reporter and wondered why White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who doesn’t wear a mask during briefings, didn’t have reporters “running” and “screaming” out of the room.
Cruz detailed the reporter’s reaction to the confrontation while appearing on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday alongside hosts Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino. Cruz lamented using “a virtue signal” when it comes to wearing masks and said “people have gotten pretty crazy about this stuff.” (RELATED: CNN’s Brianna Keilar Scolds Ron DeSantis For Drinking A Beer And Having Fun In Daytona Beach)
Hemmer began by playing a video clip of the Wednesday confrontation between Cruz and the reporter, in which the reporter asked Cruz to put on his mask while speaking to the gaggle.
“Yeah, when I’m talking to the TV camera I’m not going to wear a mask, and all of us have been immunized,” Cruz said to the reporter in the video, to which he stated it would make him “feel better.”
“You’re welcome to step away if you like … CDC guidance is what we’re following,” Cruz responded.
Hemmer then asked Cruz what happened after the confrontation that wasn’t shown on camera.
“That particular cameraman went and left and he decided he didn’t want to be at the press conference. That’s fine, he’s welcome to make that choice,” Cruz said. “At some point it is a little silly. I’ve got to say if you turn on the TV on any given day and watch, say, the White House press conference with Jen Psaki. She hasn’t worn a mask a single day and you didn’t see any petulant reporters throwing a fit and running, screaming out of the room.”
“It’s particularly absurd when every senator standing there has been vaccinated, and at some point it just becomes theater. It just becomes a virtue signal as people wear two, three, four masks. Listen, I’m not someone who says never wear a mask. I think you should use common sense precautions, but people have gotten pretty crazy about this stuff,” he concluded.
President Joe Biden signed an executive order on the day of his inauguration requiring masks be worn while on federal property. Despite the focus on Cruz, other administration officials, including Biden, have been criticized for not wearing masks while on federal property, and elsewhere.