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U.S. Senator Ted Cruz flew into a storm of criticism on Thursday over a holiday jaunt he took to the Mexican resort city of Cancun while his home state of Texas grappled with a deadly deep freeze, This report produced by Yahaira Jacquez.
- As millions of Texans struggled through a deadly deep freeze, US Senator Ted Cruz flew to the Mexican resort city of Cancun with his family. The 50-year-old Republican lawmaker confirmed the trip on Thursday but cut it short after his travels were reported. Reuters snapped this picture of Cruz leaving Mexico. On his way out he told reporters, quote, "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 I'm 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."
Cruz, viewed as a potential presidential candidate in 2024, faced calls to resign after photos on social media emerged showing him in an airport line, in a passenger lounge, aboard an airliner, and departing an airport in Mexico. The scandal came as millions of Texans remained paralyzed by power and water outages after a winter storm and freezing temperatures hampered efforts to restore full power. So far, nearly two dozen deaths have been attributed to the cold snap.
Some in Houston found shelter at the Gallery furniture store which had opened its doors as a warming center. Meanwhile in Austin, a Target saw empty shelves and long lines as shoppers stocked up on food. With 2.7 million Texas households on Thursday still without heat, leaders warned of a domino effect on infrastructure as the lack of power cut off water supplies, strained the ability of hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients, and isolated vulnerable communities with frozen roads still impassable.