Texas Sen. Ted Cruz seen without a face mask on American Airlines flight

Megan Armstrong San Antonio News Leave a Comment

A widely-shared photo on social media shows U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on an American Airlines flight Sunday not wearing a face mask, which is in violation of the airline’s policy requiring passengers wear to face coverings to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A spokesman for Cruz told a national media outlet that the senator was drinking coffee at the time the photo was taken and did not need to have it on.

Hosseh Enad, who works for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, took the photo and posted it Sunday on his Twitter account, writing that Cruz was on a commercial flight and was “refusing to wear a mask”

Cruz, a Republican, was on his way to attend a rally for Jon Francis, a candidate for the Texas Legislature, according to a tweet from Bud Kennedy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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A Cruz spokesperson told thehill.com that Cruz was drinking coffee and removed his mask to do so. The face mask policy for American Airlines does not apply to those who are eating or drinking, however, the airline does ask people to cover their faces as soon as they’re done, according to its website.

In the photo posted by Enad, Cruz is seen holding a beverage but it is unclear whether he removed his face covering before drinking the beverage. A face mask is not see in the photo posted by Enad, who responded to those who argued the senator was drinking his coffee by tweeting, “it’s not hard to have a mask on and undo one side to take a sip then put it pack on.”

Enad also posted another photo of Cruz outside the gate without a face mask on, which is another violation of the airline’s policy as the company stated on its website it will deny boarding customers who don’t wear a face mask while at the gate.

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Another account on Twitter (@ComfortablySmug) responded to Enad’s photo by tweeting a photo of Cruz wearing a face mask while on a flight. It is unclear whether it is the same American Airlines flight Enad and Cruz were on together.

American Airlines responded to Enad’s photo, tweeting that the airline is “committed” to protecting the health and safety of all customers and that the company is reviewing the details of the matter.

“We do require masks to be worn by everyone and assure you that this matter will be reviewed internally by our team,” the airline commented.

Enad’s photo, which has more than 37,000 retweets and over 90,000 likes as of Monday, left many outraged, including Netflix’s Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness.

“This is @SenTedCruz on an @AmericanAir flight with no mask. People are dying in Texas & the leaders are out here doing this,” the celebrity tweeted.

Priscilla Aguirre is a general assignment reporter for MySA.com | [email protected] | @CillaAguirre

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