Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott offered a message of gratitude this week to the Biden administration for issuing a state of emergency during a series of severe winter storms in the state.
The historic event has gone on to cause widespread power outages, water shortages, and bitterly cold temperatures — but President Joe Biden has maintained public silence on the issue in recent days, reports note.
Millions suffer without electricity
Texas has borne the brunt of three winter storms in quick succession, bringing record-setting weather that buried much of the state under significant amounts of ice and snow.
Thus far, the situation has been linked to several deaths. Furthermore, the storms have largely paralyzed much of the state’s power grid as well as parts of the water supply, causing misery to untold numbers of Texans effectively trapped inside freezing homes, according to the Associated Press.
Nevertheless, Biden has declined to address the plight of these Americans — including when he had a national platform during a town hall event that aired on CNN this week.
The cable news appearance came on Tuesday, which was one of the worst and coldest days of the ongoing saga when the wind chill factor dropped below zero across parts of the typically warm climate.
Biden has not completely ignored the situation, of course. On Sunday, he signed an emergency declaration that authorized federal assistance in response to the severe weather that began last week.
“Additional resources and assistance”
“I thank President Biden for quickly issuing a Federal Emergency Declaration for Texas as we continue to respond to severe winter weather conditions throughout the state,” Abbott wrote in a subsequent statement.
The governor noted that the action will provide his state “with additional resources and assistance that will help our communities respond to this winter weather.”
The president also took part in a conference call on Tuesday that included several governors, including Abbott. During that conversation, the Associated Press noted that Biden offered his family’s prayers and vowed to provide the federal resources necessary to overcome the immense challenges.
Two days later, he did make a public mention of the events in a tweet, writing: “Jill and I are keeping Texas, Oklahoma, and other impacted states in our prayers. I’ve declared states of emergency, authorized FEMA to provide generators and supplies, and am ready to fulfill additional requests. Please heed the instructions of local officials and stay safe.”
While his eventual well-wishes and promised federal assistance are sure to be welcomed by all those currently struggling to stay warm across Texas and beyond, the delay is being seen by some Americans as a clearly missed opportunity early on in his administration.