Hollywood is calling out Sen. Ted Cruz for abandoning Texas for Cancún, Mexico, while millions across the state grapple with a deadly storm-induced power outage.

The extreme cold is unusual for the state, leaving Texans especially vulnerable. According to the BBC, one county saw over 300 suspected carbon monoxide cases and at least four people were killed following a house fire that may have been ignited by candles. All 254 counties have been affected by the storm, with some areas hitting 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Some have been without power for days, pointing to failure by the state’s power grid.

In the midst of the crisis, Cruz, who led the effort last month to decertify the Electoral College vote, was seen on a plane headed to Cancún for a family vacation. The photo made the rounds on social media on Wednesday night, prompting an uproar.

Cruz responded Thursday morning with a statement, which was posted to Twitter by a number of journalists, including NBC News’ Vaughn Hillyard. “Like millions of Texans, our family lost heat and power too,” the statement said. “With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew with them last night and am flying back this afternoon.”

Comedian Kathy Griffin tracked the unfolding as social media users and journalists alike worked to confirm Cruz’s identification in the photos. Seth Rogen, Patton Oswalt, Padma Lakshmi and more also chimed in to criticize Cruz for leaving the state during its crisis. See more celebrity reactions below.


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