Ted Cruz once again faced backlash over the weekend, this time for sharing an insensitive coronavirus-related meme.
The Texas senator tweeted an image of a turkey with the words “come and take it” emblazoned on top, alluding to the possibility of a year without Thanksgiving celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was widely interpreted as suggesting people should just go ahead as normal.
The tweet comes days after the National Guard was deployed to El Paso to aid overwhelmed morgues as deaths continue to rise in Texas and across the country.
El Paso officials also sent out a plea for more morgue workers, while low-level offenders from the county jail have been enlisted to help transport bodies.
The senator was widely criticised for ignoring the pandemic and the thousands who waited in long queues at food banks.
Among those who denounced Cruz were congresswoman-elect Cori Bush, who tweeted:
I hope this is a legitimate offer to the 25,000 people who were lined up at a food bank in your state last week. Or to the Texas National Guard helping El Paso with morgue overflow. You’re on a paid vacation while your constituents are starving and dying.
Epidemiologist Fiegl-Ding added: “Millions of Americans can't celebrate Thanksgiving with their family because the coronavirus gave their relatives ‘cold dead hands’. Taunting people to ‘Come and take it’ is so irresponsible during a pandemic.
Others accused the senator of forgetting how to lead. “One reason we have 256K dead from a preventable disease in the United States is politicians more interested in trolling rather than governing,” tweeted Georgetown professor Don Moynihan.
As many rightly pointed out, there are far more pressing concerns than Thanksgiving dinner.