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Cruz refuses to wear mask when asked by reporter at press event

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Republicans: Newly proposed ATF rules could pave way for national gun registry DeSantis tops Trump in 2024 presidential straw poll White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE (R-Texas) on Wednesday refused to wear a mask during a press conference on Capitol Hill after a reporter repeatedly asked him to put one on as a courtesy to others in the room.

"Would you mind putting a mask on for us?" a reporter asked Cruz as he stepped up to a bank of microphones. 

"Uh, yeah, when I'm talking in front of the TV cameras I'm not going to wear a mask," Cruz responded. "And all of us have been immunized, so..." 

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Cruz turned and gestured to several of his GOP Senate colleagues, including Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.), who was standing behind him and wearing a mask. 

"It would make us feel better," the reporter pressed Cruz. 

Cruz told the reporter: "You're welcome to step away if you like. The whole point of a vaccine ... CDC guidance is what we're following." 

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Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends that even those who have been vaccinated continue wearing masks because vaccines are not 100 percent effective and it is unknown if the virus can still be spread by those who have received the vaccine.

It was not the first time during the pandemic reporters have asked Cruz to wear a mask while speaking to them and he has refused.

In October, Cruz was asked by a CNN reporter if he would put a mask on during a gaggle outside a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room. 

Cruz refused, saying he was standing six feet from others so a face covering was unnecessary. 

Federal health officials have said all Americans should continue wearing face coverings while in public in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Some Republicans on Capitol Hill have downplayed the efficacy of masks, questioning the science behind them and in some cases earning reprimands from Democratic counterparts for a failure to wear them on the floor. 

Cruz was photographed on an airplane in July without a mask on, a picture his office said was taken during a brief time when he was drinking.