Ted Cruz mocked for bizarre claim he gets hugged ‘every time’ he gets on a plane by anti-vaccine staff

The vaccinated US Senator says vax mandates are wrong

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Wednesday 09 March 2022 20:35
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Trucker convoy protest in Washington DC fails as no-one shows up
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Senator Ted Cruz is being mocked online for claiming that he gets hugged “every time” he’s on a plane by staff members who oppose vaccine mandates.

“Almost without exception, every time I’m on an airplane, either the captain or a flight attendant will come up to me, will hug me and say, ‘Thank you for fighting for us,’” the Texas Republican said on Tuesday during a meeting with representatives of the People’s Convoy, a group of truckers and others railing against US Covid policies, inspired by Canada’s massive trucker protests in Ottawa.

Mr Cruz lamented that United Airlines has a vaccination mandate for employees and has fired “thousands,” arguing, “This is wrong.”

The claims — in addition to likely being untrue, as United has only fired closer to 600 people — earned the gaffe-prone senator a round of taunts online.

“If you believe that flight attendants and captains hug Ted Cruz all the time, I have two tickets to Cancun to sell you,” podcast Emily Brandwin wrote, reference the senator’s infamous trio to Cancún, Mexico, during the pandemic.

Historian Kevin M Kruse, meanwhile, posted a meme from TV host Nathan Fielder, where the comedian is clearly alone in a cropped photo with a caption that reads, “Out on the town having the time of my life with a bunch of friends. They’re all just out of frame, laughing too.”

“I promise you strangers are not going over to Ted Cruz to hug him,” added writer Molly Jong-Fast.

Unlike their Canadian counterparts, the People’s Convoy has failed to mobilise large numbers to shut down the capital, though they have slowed traffic around Washington DC with their trucks and prompted local police to declare an emergency.

What they are protesting remains vague as well. The only national mandate that has survived court scrutiny is Joe Biden’s requirement healthcare workers receiving federal funding are vaccinated, and most states have pulled back on mask and other pandemic guidelines. In February, the CDC also recommended most Americans in areas of low transmission and high hospital capacity don’t need to keep wearing masks indoors.

Whether or not its employees are overflowing with love for Ted Cruz, United Airlines has stood by its vaccine mandate, the first of its kind for US air carriers during the pandemic.

In January, United CEO Scott Kirby said the policy had stopped its workers from dying from Covid.

​​"Prior to our vaccine requirement, tragically, more than one United employee on average *per week* was dying from COVID," Mr Kirby wrote in a letter at the time."But we’ve now gone eight straight weeks with zero COVID-related deaths among our vaccinated employees — based on United’s prior experience and the nationwide data related to COVID fatalities among the unvaccinated, that means there are approximately 8-10 United employees who are alive today because of our vaccine requirement.”

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