What You Need To Know:
Two politicians with higher political ambitions are under fire. Texas Senator Ted Cruz tried to defend taking a family trip to Mexico amid a winter storm that left millions in his state without power and water and scores of deaths. Citizens and politicians are charging New York Governor Cuomo with abusing his authority and undercounting deaths at nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic. Some reports called Senator Cruz out for “throwing his daughters under the bus by saying, “By the second day [without power] we were clustered by the fireplace as the source of heat … our girls, when they heard the news that school was canceled for the week, they said, ‘Why don’t we take a trip, let’s go somewhere where it’s not so cold,'” he said.
He stated, “wanting to be a good dad,” the trip was for his girls, but he returned because it “didn’t feel right.” In actuality, Cruz returned the next day when photos appeared on social media showing the Cruz family in Houston airport lines and on a plane headed to Cancun, Mexico. Additional investigations revealed texts between his wife, Heidi, and neighbors, inviting them to get out of the freezing weather. Mrs. Cruz’s texts gave room prices at the luxury resort along with non-stop flight schedules. Cruz was also called out when it was revealed the senator’s office called for additional airport security before making the trip to Mexico. Many cited taking police away from their airport duties during a statewide emergency as a waste of time and resources.
Last month, New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report that her office’s investigations discovered a larger number of nursing home patients died from COVID-19 and may have been undercounted by as much as 50 percent.
Last week, a top Cuomo aide admitted in a private conversation the administration had not provided state lawmakers with accurate counts of the death toll because of fears of a Trump Justice Department investigation. New York officials then admitted the official number of deaths in nursing homes and long-term care facilities were substantially underreported.
During a Friday news conference, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo insisted state policy did not play a role in undercounting nursing home deaths, but he did present reforms to improve nursing home management and safety.
For months, there have been calls by Republicans for a federal investigation of the Cuomo administration. Now state Democrats have suggested stripping him of unilateral emergency powers he has used during the pandemic. Citing those who died in nursing homes during the pandemic, U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for transparency. The governor is also facing accusations of bullying. A Democratic politician from Queens, Ron T. Kim, alleged that Cuomo berated him during a call. Kim reported Cuomo threatened the assemblyman’s reputation if he did not change his remarks about the undercount in nursing home deaths.
Some reports called Senator Ted Cruz out for ‘throwing his daughters under the bus, saying, “By the second day [without power] we were clustered by the fireplace as the source of heat … When our girls heard school was canceled for the week, they said, ‘Why don’t we take a trip, let’s go somewhere where it’s not so cold.”
He said the trip was for his girls, but returned because it “didn’t feel right.” In actuality, Cruz returned the next day when photos showed the Cruz family in the airport and on a plane headed to Cancun. Additional investigations revealed texts between his wife, Heidi, and neighbors, inviting them to get out of the cold. Mrs. Cruz’s gave info on the 5-star resort, along with flight schedules. The Senator was also ridiculed when his office called for additional airport security before the Mexico trip. Texans called taking police away from duties during a statewide emergency a waste of time and resources.
Why We Need To Know:
Andrew Cuomo built a reputation as “America’s Governor” during his daily televised pandemic briefings. His name was often mentioned during last year’s presidential primaries as a last-minute 2020 candidate. But if he was not acting in the best interests of his constituents, what set him apart from the former White House occupant?
Although many question what federal employee Cruz could have done. The Texas Senator demonstrated a deaf and blind response to what was happening in his state. Even if he pretended to take calls from the White House, or he just did before the trip what he finally did upon his return, buying and handing out water, that carries greater weight than visuals of a Mexican getaway. Certainly, NY Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did more. She raised over. $4 million via Twitter. Full transparency and empathy can go a long way.