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Ted Cruz Tweeted A Thoughtless Thanksgiving Meme While Texas Morgues Overflowed With COVID Victims

The Texas senator was criticized for tweeting a "war on Thanksgiving" meme while El Paso morgues were overwhelmed with bodies and thousands lined up outside a food bank in Dallas amid surging COVID cases in the state.

Posted on November 22, 2020, at 5:23 p.m. ET

Pool / Getty Images

Ted Cruz

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was criticized over the weekend for tweeting a thoughtless Thanksgiving meme while morgues in the state overflowed with COVID victims and thousands affected by the pandemic lined up outside a food bank.

Instead of addressing the rising COVID cases in his state, Cruz on Saturday chose to tweet a "war on Thanksgiving" meme — the latest attempt by conservatives and right-wing figures to engage in a culture war over the pandemic which has killed more than 250,000 Americans.

Cruz tweeted an illustration of a turkey with the words "come and take it," ostensibly daring someone to stop him from celebrating Thanksgiving.

The CDC strongly advised people against traveling for Thanksgiving and public health professionals have suggested limiting indoor celebrations to residents of the same household, citing an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases nationwide.

This has prompted several conservative and right-wing figures to publicly reject these lifesaving measures and misrepresent them as a left-wing attempt to "cancel" Thanksgiving altogether.

People immediately slammed Cruz for the tweet. Many pointed out that his tweet came two days after Texas National Guard troops were deployed to El Paso to help morgues overwhelmed with COVID victims as hospitalizations and deaths surged in the county.

WARNING: Potentially disturbing. National Guard troops unload bodies from one of the nine mobile morgue trucks at the El Paso medical examiner’s office. The soldiers are wearing full PPE.

Yesterday, the Texas Division of Emergency Management announced that a team from the National Guard had been mobilized to "provide mortuary affairs support" because there are more dead bodies than the state government can handle. And you play tough guy about a turkey.

In Texas: 1.16 million cases of COVID. 21,000 deaths. Yesterday alone: 11,000 new cases. 132 deaths. They just called in the national guard to El Paso to move bodies. Hard to imagine greater callousness & disregard for human life.

Earlier this week, El Paso County officials sent out a plea requesting for additional morgue workers to help with the rise in people dying from COVID, prompting the county's use of jail inmates to help transport bodies of victims.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

A low-level inmate from El Paso County detention facility prepares to load bodies into a refrigerated temporary morgue trailer in a parking lot of the El Paso County Medical Examiner's office.

This is the Senator’s home state *this weekend* as the National Guard & jail trustees load tractor trailers with bodies. Twitter isn’t real life. Memes aren’t legislation. Americans are suffering & too many - too far removed from our struggle - are thinking about re-election.

Others, including Democratic Rep.-elect Cori Bush, slammed Cruz for focusing on his Thanksgiving celebrations, while ignoring thousands of Texans hard-hit by the pandemic who were waiting in an hourslong line outside a Dallas food bank last week.

Thousands of cars lined up to collect food in Dallas, Texas, over the weekend, stretching as far as the eye can see.

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.

there's a 2 mile long line of cars waiting at a Food Bank in Dallas and the Texas National Guard was called up to deal with morgue overflow in El Paso but this is the mountain the Senator from Texas chooses to die on

Of course the right is focusing on fake culture wars while millions of people that voted for them literally cannot afford to even buy a turkey this year.

Some said politicians who were more interested in trolling than governing were responsible for the deaths of more than 250,000 COVID people in the US.

One reason we have 256K dead from a preventable disease in the United States is politicians more interested in trolling rather than governing

Others just put it a little more bluntly.

It's not about a turkey you goddamn idiot, it's about not accidentally killing your grandma.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.