Republican Sen. Rafael Theodoro Cruz (Ted), of Texas, slammed Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, of Ohio, as a “complete ass” for asking that fellow lawmakers wear masks during a senate hearing on Monday.
Sen. Brown had asked Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) to wear a mask while presiding over the Senate as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While Cruz argued that Sullivan was about 50 feet from Brown, and therefore didn’t need to wear a mask, the CDC and other public health authorities recommend that people use face coverings when in public indoor spaces and workspaces regardless of distance.
“This is idiotic,” Cruz tweeted Monday night, adding that Brown “is being a complete ass. He wears a mask to speak — when nobody is remotely near him — as an ostentatious sign of fake virtue.”
Public health officials advise that people “should wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household.”
CDC guidance also states that masks are not a substitute for social distancing, and masks should be worn in addition to staying at least six feet apart to most effectively prevent the spread of COVID-19.
It’s especially important to wear masks indoors where COVID-19 spreads more easily because of less ventilation, the CDC states.
Throughout the pandemic, Brown has repeatedly asked his colleagues to wear masks in the chamber. While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) requires everyone on the House floor to wear masks, there is no similar requirement in the Senate.
“I don’t wear a mask when I’m speaking like most senators. I don’t need your instruction,” Sullivan said to Brown on the Senate floor.
Cruz argued that Sullivan was at least 50 feet away from Brown, but video of the exchange shows Sullivan was much closer to at least one Senate staffer.
This is idiotic. @SherrodBrown is being a complete ass. He wears a mask to speak—when nobody is remotely near him—as an ostentatious sign of fake virtue.@DanSullivan_AK was over 50 feet away, presiding. Last I checked 50 feet is more than 6 feet. https://t.co/BoIGrAV7T1
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 17, 2020