On Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz’s office emailed a press release indicating that the Texas Republican would propose a bill to overturn the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for schoolchildren—not in his adopted home state, but in the nation’s capital. A particularly ironic quote at the beginning of the press release shows Cruz misconstruing what it means to listen to science when it comes to public health. “Listening to union bosses may be good politics for a Democrat, but it’s not science. It’s not medicine. It’s not actually taking care of the health of the kids,” the press release reads. Cruz singled out the D.C. legislation, which passed a few weeks ago, that requires eligible children to be vaccinated by March 1.
According to, you know, actual public health experts, allowing children who are eligible to be vaccinated is one of the best ways to ensure that they are protected from some of the worst symptoms of COVID-19. Experts encourage continuing to wear masks—especially three-ply surgical masks or similarly protective masks—given how contagious the omicron variant appears to be. Even for children who may not be eligible to be vaccinated just yet, experts believe they are much safer around vaccinated folks than those who are unvaccinated. Cruz, whose idea of siding with science is spending years shouting his false beliefs about climate change, isn’t exactly the greatest person to make consequential policy decisions, such as choosing to ban mask mandates. He’s also probably not the right person to engage with D.C. issues, given the fact that his home in Houston is more than 1,400 miles away.