WASHINGTON — During an energetic speech to conservative activists Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called double-masking guidelines and mask ordinances at restaurants "dumb" and mocked Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
Cruz, a likely 2024 presidential candidate, complained in his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference that when he goes into restaurants he has to wear a mask, but can then take it off when he is seated at a table.
"Now they're saying, everybody can get immunized, we can have herd immunity everywhere, and we're going to wear masks for the next 300 years," Cruz told the CPAC audience. "And by the way, not just one mask, two, three, four. You can't have too many masks. How much virtue do you want to signal? This is just dumb."
This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance with a study that said wearing a "cloth mask over a medical procedure mask" could substantially reduce exposure to Covid-19.
And last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it was "possible" that Americans would continue wearing masks into 2022 even though much of the country might reach "a significant degree of normality" by the end of this year.
Earlier in the speech, Cruz seemed to mock Ocasio-Cortez's fear during the violent Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
"Bernie's wearing mittens and AOC is telling us she was murdered," Cruz said.
Ocasio-Cortez said she feared for her life during the riot during an Instagram Live video in January.
"I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive, and not just in a general sense but also in a very, very specific sense," Ocasio-Cortez said.