Sen. Ted Cruz, a man known for his many excuses, offered a few more on Thursday after he was captured boarding a flight to Cancun in the middle of a power crisis which has crippled his fellow Texans, compounded by a series of winter storms.
Local law enforcement sources told NBC News that Cruz’s staff contacted the Houston Police Department to escort Cruz and his family to and throughout the George Bush Intercontinental Airport earlier this week.
Cruz, swarmed by reporters in Cancun’s airport on Thursday, said he was en route back to the U.S. after escorting his daughters to Mexico.
“With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon,” he said.
But back in Texas, Cruz’s constituents aren’t so lucky. With nowhere to go but their cars for warmth in some cases, millions of Texans are without power, food and shelter as frigid temperatures, ice and snow are expected to occur over the next few days. Out of the 37 people who died from the adverse conditions across the country, the majority have been Texans.
Beginning on Feb. 14, millions of Texans lost access to power in the middle of a major winter storm. As of Thursday afternoon, poweroutage.us reports there are over 437,000 outages in the state of Texas alone.
Due to lack of maintenance and deregulation, the Texas power grid system, which operates separately from the western and eastern power grid, could not withstand the harsh temperatures. And in Black and brown communities, where infrastructures are also routinely ignored, community members found themselves in blackout, sectioned off without access to scarcely provided resources.
Supporters of Cruz are desperately attempting to spin the narrative, painting Cruz as some valiant patriot who sacrificed himself in order to spread resources to fellow Texans.
Cruz’s criticism also comes as residents are looking for the government to intervene during what is undoubtedly a state of emergency in the Lone Star State. On the ground, community members are organizing food drop-offs, while others are resorting to desperate measures, boiling water for warmth, or even setting items on fire to generate warmth.
Even Pastor Joel Osteen, who faced criticism for shunning away Houstonians during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, announced he was opening the doors of his church as a shelter.
So where is Sen. Cruz and Sen. John Cornyn?
Cruz’s trip occurs where the United States has one of the largest numbers of outbreaks in the world. The constant travelling to international locations exposes another layer of privilege, as many of the countries Americans are “escaping” to, are without the resources to sustain if a mass outbreak should occur. And of course these are nations filled with mainly Black and brown people.
Cruz’s decision to travel to Mexico is confusing since he was adversely opposed to other legislators doing so. In December, Cruz blasted a Democrat Mayor Stephen Adler of Austin, Texas, for vacationing in Cabo, Mexico.
Tallying up Cruz’s offenses in the last month goes as follows: On Jan. 6, Cruz was one of six Senators who voted in favor of the Arizona Challenge, in an attempt to stop the Electoral College vote. Following, a mob of violent, racist Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, backing the calls of Trump to stop the vote. Weeks later Cruz voted to acquit Trump in his second impeachment trial.