Omicron variant

FILE Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 7, 2021. Cruz appeared on Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson show on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, to apologize for describing the Jan. 6 insurrection as “a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol” in an earlier statement marking the anniversary. He told Carlson: “The way I phrased things yesterday, it was sloppy and it was frankly dumb.” But despite insisting to Carlson that he had misspoken, Cruz has consistently used the “terrorism” terminology to refer to the attack over the past year. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Sen. Cruz: Go ask Biden why he’s not wearing a mask

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pushed back on calls to wear face masks amid growing evidence they don’t work against COVID-19. While talking to reporters Tuesday, the Texas lawmaker was asked why he wasn’t wearing a mask at all times amid the spread of the Omicron variant.

Passersby walk past an empty restaurant in September in Boston. (Steven Senne/AP)

Congress explores COVID business relief amid Omicron panic

Congress is exploring new COVID-19 relief programs for small businesses amid renewed pandemic worries. On Wednesday, officials said Republican Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Democrat Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) are crafting a measure aimed at supplying restaurants with additional federal aid.