As stated on the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC warns Americans of high COVID-19 risk in Mexico, stating that “(t)ravelers should avoid all travel to Mexico.” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, however, ignored this warning to take a trip to Cancún with his family on Wednesday evening.
Not only was this decision careless in regards to the pandemic, but by leaving his state, Cruz abandoned the residents of Texas that are suffering from the sudden winter storm. Currently, 47 lives have been lost from freezing temperatures in Texas, leaving a staggering amount of opposing constituents like the Texas Democratic Party to call for Cruz’s resignation. Statewide outages have left pipes, apartment hallways and even ceiling fans to freeze and have left millions without any heating systems in their homes. Amongst these suffering families are elders, families with newborns and individuals with disabilities, many who are unable to access food to heat up due to limited resources. Cruz felt the need to take a vacation while people were suffering in the state that elected him to be their leader.
In an interview with NBC News, Cruz attempted to excuse his actions by saying, “With school canceled 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. My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas.”
Many of us have been isolated at home and have not seen most of our family members in a long time in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. The rate at which U.S. coronavirus cases have been rising is frightening. Public health officials implore everyone to wear masks and limit travel. Isn’t Cruz selfish, then, for leaving Texas to deal with not only a pandemic but an unprecedented, deadly winter storm?
The lack of responsibility exhibited by politicians like Cruz is interfering with America’s ability to function properly. Instead of setting a good example for his constituents, Cruz showed them that going on vacation “to be a good dad” triumphs in prioritizing the obligations and duties of a senator. Cruz’s statement is shameful and lacks any empathy towards the people of Texas. Safety of communities and strong, immediate guidance in times of crisis is crucial.
Cruz is not the only politician who has vacationed in the middle of the pandemic. Ironically enough, Cruz has slammed individuals in the past for traveling during emergency disasters. In a tweet from last December, Cruz criticized Democrat officials for ignoring pandemic guidelines, writing, “Hypocrites. Complete and utter hypocrites. And don’t forget @MayorAdler who took a private jet with eight people to Cabo and WHILE IN CABO recorded a video telling Austinites to ‘stay home if you can…this is not the time to relax.'”
Back in 2014, Cruz criticized former President Barack Obama for abandoning his position as the nation’s executive, saying, ”I think the president should actually stand up and do his job as commander in chief, should spend less time on the golf course and more time doing the job to which he was elected.” How about senators? When is it time to do their jobs?
As a political figure who was democratically elected and has sworn an oath to the Constitution, Sen. Cruz has an obligation to serve the people of Texas who are without power, food and heat. It is incumbent to help lead the people with diligence, humility and instant counsel.
Texas is crippling. The death toll is rising.
It is immensely offensive to hold a position of power and utilize it to your advantage.
Featured image by Gage Skidmore