In yet another display of his all-too-familiar self-importance, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was caught flying to Cancun, Mexico, on Wednesday, as his constituents suffered through a devastating winter storm, with millions of power outages across the state and the deaths of at least 16 people due to the extreme weather. According to Erin Calabrese of ABC News, Houston police say that the Senator’s staff requested a police escort for Cruz when he was at the airport on Wednesday, although whether there was any specific inciting incident underlying this request is unclear. Nevertheless, officers reportedly “monitored his movements through the terminal.” It seems safe to assume that Cruz himself was clued in on the escort request, since the staff members, of course, act on his behalf.
JUST IN from @houstonpolice, via @emcabcnewsprod:
"Cruz’s staff contacted HPD personnel at IAH on Wednesday … and requested assistance upon the Senator’s arrival at the airport."
"HPD officers monitored his movements through the terminal."
— Ben Siegel (@bensiegel) February 18, 2021
Cruz was slated to fly back to Texas on Thursday, leaving his family members behind in Cancun for a trip. He has faced steep criticism since the information about his trip out of the state first emerged, including calls for his resignation. Texas Democratic Party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said that the state party “calls on Ted Cruz to resign or be expelled from office,” and if neither option materializes, then the party “will put all of the resources we have into defeating [Cruz] and every Texas Republican who abandoned us in this disaster, including Governor Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Patrick, in 2022 and 2024,” Hinojosa added in his statement.
NYT confirms: As Texas was battered by an icy storm and widespread power losses that left millions of residents freezing and fearing for their safety, Ted Cruz left the state on Wednesday and traveled to Mexico for a previously planned family vacation. https://t.co/vlPQw6ksgH
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 18, 2021
The winter storm in Texas has been destructive — as temperatures plummeted to dangerous levels, millions of people were left without power for extended periods. Pamela Colloff, a reporter based in Austin, shared on Thursday that they’d gone three and a half days without heat or electricity, explaining that the “suffering here is immense.” The disaster, she said, has included “Food shortages. Unsafe drinking water. Impassable roads. Flooded homes” and a “humanitarian crisis.”
After 3.5 days without heat or power in Austin, my kids, husband & I found refuge in a friend's garage apt, where there's heat. We're luckier than many.
The suffering here is immense. Food shortages. Unsafe drinking water. Impassable roads. Flooded homes. A humanitarian crisis.
— Pamela Colloff (@pamelacolloff) February 18, 2021
As reported by NBC journalist Gabe Gutierrez, energy officials in Texas said on Thursday that the “power grid was seconds or minutes — not hours — away from catastrophic failure if rolling outages had not been imposed starting Sunday night.” Heat and electricity inaccessibility are far from the only lingering problems — pipes across Texas have also burst, leaving some residents without running water. Texas reporter Erica Simon shared footage of Texans filling containers with water from a freestanding spigot at a Houston park, underscoring the gravity of the situation.
ERCOT officials just said the Texas power grid was seconds or minutes — not hours — away from catastrophic failure if rolling outages had not been imposed starting Sunday night
— Gabe Gutierrez (@gabegutierrez) February 18, 2021
This is not a third world country. This is Houston, Texas. I spotted a line of people filing up buckets of water from a spicket at Haden Park. Why? Millions either have no water or are under a Boil Water Advisory. pic.twitter.com/VHYH5Hbqjj
— Erica Simon (@EricaOnABC13) February 18, 2021