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Hurricane Beryl: Texas Governor Greg Abbott Slammed for Being Abroad


Hurricane Beryl: Texas Governor Greg Abbott Slammed for Being Abroad

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is facing criticism for being on an overseas trip as Hurricane Beryl made landfall in the state.

Abbott is currently on a week-long economic development mission to Asia, meeting business leaders and government officials in Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, leaving Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick in charge of the state’s hurricane response. The decision left some social media users angered, and drew comparisons to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s controversial trip to Cancun during a winter storm in 2021.

“I remain in daily contact with Texas Division of Emergency Management & local officials to ensure preparation for Hurricane Beryl,” Abbott said in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday.

Newsweek has reached out to a representative of Greg Abbott for additional comment via email.

Hurricane Beryl Jamaica
Palm trees sway as the wind and rain from Hurricane Beryl pass through on July 03, 2024, in Kingston, Jamaica. Beryl has caused widespread damage in several island nations as it continues to cross the…

Joe Raedle/Getty Images Entertainment/GC Images

Hurricane Beryl made landfall early Monday morning as a Category 1 storm, bringing heavy rainfall, strong winds, and potential flooding. The National Hurricane Center has urged residents in the affected areas to follow evacuation orders and other instructions from local officials.

Abbott announced on Saturday that “a severe weather disaster declaration has been issued for 40 countries to ensure at-risk communities have access to the resources and assistance needed to respond to this storm.” Patrick added 81 more counties on Sunday.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during the NRA ILA Leadership Forum at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Meeting & Exhibits at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center on May 18, 2024 in Dallas, Texas….

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Despite Abbott’s assurances of ongoing communication with state officials, his decision to go ahead with a foreign trip when a hurricane was forecast to hit the state sparked backlash on social media.

California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell expressed outrage on X: “My family in Texas are about to be slammed by #HurricaneBeryl. And shocker!… Governor @GregAbott_TX is out of the country.

Swalwell also made reference to Cruz’s trip to Cancun, Mexico in 2021, during a devastating winter storm in Texas that caused widespread power outages across the state.

“Sound familiar @tedcruz? My God.” his post said. “Who the hell are these leaders? And why aren’t they held to account?”

Cruz’s trip was a personal vacation while Abbott is away on official business.

In another post on X, a user replied to a post shared by Abbott about the hurricane: “So, where the Hell are you!?!? You do not care about Texans!!! What Texans need to see is a governor staying in the state he represents in support of the line workers & support team, not out of the country wheeling around luxury circles. You’re the worst, @GregAbott_TX!”

Another accused Abbott of being “AWOL” and others expressed disappointment that he wasn’t in Texas or coming back sooner.

Some X users defended the governor, pointing out that sometimes Abbott’s role requires him to be out of the country, and that the trip was planned before it was known if Beryl would hit Texas.

Abbot is due to return home on July 13.

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