EL PASO – Texas Sen. Ted Cruz faced backlash after posting a meme on Twitter Saturday that some see as being insensitive about the coronavirus crisis in Texas, particularly the ongoing situation in El Paso.
The meme shows a turkey with a star above it and the words “Come and Take It.” The meme was a reimagining of the famous flag from the Texas Revolution that’s become a symbol of defiance.
Many saw the meme as a comment on health recommendations asking U.S. residents not to celebrate Thanksgiving this week with anybody outside their immediate household.
He posted the image on the same day that Texas reported a one-day high of 12,597 new virus cases.
El Paso has recorded a steep incline in COVID-19 cases and deaths over the last few weeks. On Monday, El Paso recorded 328 new coronavirus cases and seven new deaths, bringing the active case count to more than 36,000 and the death toll to 862.
El Paso artist Patrick Gabaldon responded to Cruz’s tweet on Sunday with an image of a doctor pushing a hospital gurney, the lone star, mountains that commonly represent El Paso and the words “Come and See It.”
He told KTSM-TV in El Paso that he hoped the senator would see his tweet, adding, “Maybe if people see the devastation, maybe they’ll acknowledge it.”
A spokeswoman for Cruz did not immediately return an email seeking comment Monday.
Officials in El Paso have asked Gov. Greg Abbott for support in implementing a curfew. Members of the Texas National Guard have been sent to the West Texas city to help morgues.
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