President Biden traveled to Texas on Friday to survey the damage and recovery efforts after a severe winter storm and power outages that left dozens dead.
Mr. Biden and first lady Jill Biden met with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. John Cornyn, both Republicans, in Houston before visiting an emergency operations center and food bank. Later, they were to stop at NRG Stadium, a mass COVID-19 vaccination site.
The state’s other senator, Republican Ted Cruz, didn’t join them. Mr. Cruz spoke instead Friday at the annual CPAC conference in Orlando, Florida.
At least 40 people in Texas died as a result of the storm, and more than 1 million residents are still under orders to boil water before drinking it. Millions of residents lost heat and electricity when the storm overloaded the state’s energy grid, causing pipes to freeze.
A White House official said presidential disaster declarations in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Kansas have resulted in the Federal Emergency Management Agency delivering more than 2 million meals, 2 million gallons of water and 60 generators to various communities.
Deputy National Security Adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall also said the deep-freeze storm was not “an isolated event,” suggesting climate change is to blame.
“The impacts reflect our shared vulnerabilities through extreme weather events and other threats, and the need for collective action to modernize our critical infrastructure across the country,” she said.
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