Texas Republicans Face Outrage For Public Safety Failures As Winter Storm Death Count Grows to 111

AUSTIN, Texas — Yesterday, the Texas Tribune broke the news that at least 111 people died from the February winter storm crisis — nearly twice the number health officials reported last week, and a number that, as the Tribune reports, will likely continue to grow.

Most of the 111 deaths were due to hypothermia, as Texans froze in their homes during days without power in sub-freezing temperatures. As many have reported, Texas Republicans, led by failed Governor Greg Abbott, had ample opportunity to prepare for the storm and put a plan in place to keep Texans safe. Instead, Abbott sought advice from a fringe, climate-denying meteorologist at the encouragement of Ted Cruz, and allowed the preventable power outages to go unchecked — leaving millions of Texans without heat, electricity, or safe water.

The updated death count is the latest revelation in a series of catastrophic Republican public safety failures — from Abbott’s mismanagement of the pandemic and the disproportionate harm that has done to Black and Latino communities, to Abbott’s disastrous decision to fully reopen the state earlier this month, to Senator John Cornyn’s notorious stoking of anti-Asian hate and Congressman Chip Roy’s disgusting comments condoning lynching last week.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“Right now, Texas families are grieving the deaths of more than 100 loved ones because Greg Abbott could not be bothered to do his job. The Republican mismanagement of last month’s weather and energy crisis is an outrage. Abbott had every opportunity to put a plan in place to keep Texans safe. Instead, he failed us, and people died because of it.

“We had a decade’s worth of warning where we could have weatherized our grid — but instead, Republicans put profits over people and refused to regulate power companies sufficiently. This is part of a pattern of Republican public safety failures, from mismanaging the pandemic to stoking hate and racism. Texans cannot afford to keep suffering because Republican leaders refuse to protect us. We won’t forget.”