Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its safety guidelines for the pandemic that's killed over 600 thousand Americans.
Citing indications that the stronger, deadlier delta variant could still be spread by vaccinated people with rare breakthrough infections, the CDC urged Americans to mask up again for indoor public functions, regardless of vaccination status.
The revision came after public health officials warned for months that, if not enough people got vaccinated, the virus would have the mobility necessary for more resistant variants like Delta to emerge. Due in no small part to an onslaught of right-wing disinformation regarding vaccines, the number of fully vaccinated Americans remained insufficient.
While few were happy at the prospect of masking up again, Republican lawmakers were downright enraged at the CDC's announcement, falsely claiming the development isn't necessary with a vaccine.
Among those Republicans was Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
"Apparently, according to the CDC, vaccines don't work. That science thing? Inoperative. 'We got more important things to worry about, like politics.' As an aside, Mr. President, has there ever been an institution in American public life that has more discredited itself more rapidly, than the CDC?"
Though many have criticized the CDC's messaging, Cruz's suggestion that effective vaccinations and masks are mutually exclusive is flat out wrong. The vaccines available have been proven to slow the spread of the virus and dramatically reduce the risk of death or serious symptoms in the rare event of a breakthrough infection, even in the face of the Delta Variant.
Sadly, it's not unusual for the junior Senator from Texas to spew disinformation, even from the Senate floor.
It was his question—has any institution "discredited" itself faster than the CDC?—that people found interesting.
They were quick to respond with answers.
Cruz's critics were ruthless.
Cruz may be running for President in 2024.