Ted Cruz escaped to Cancun during a crippling Texas storm in a pandemic, and travelers have so many questions

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz escaped to Mexico with his family Wednesday as the state was dealing with the crippling effects of an unprecedented winter storm.

Reports of the trip from Houston to Cancun on United Airlines went viral Thursday, earning Cruz nonstop scorn from Democratic lawmakers and other critics, including United flight attendants stuck without power in Houston. Cruz confirmed the trip in a statement, saying it was a last-minute trip with his daughters. 

“With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon,” Cruz said.

It’s not the first time the senator has gone viral for his travels during the pandemic. Last summer, social media users called him out for not wearing a mask on an American Airlines flight.

But it isn’t just about politics. Eagle-eyed travelers have so many questions – and so much snark – about the Mexico flights.

The biggest unknowns:

1. Did Cruz get a negative COVID test in Cancun so he could board his flight back to Houston? All travelers on international flights to the United States, including U.S. citizens, must now show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than three days before departure or prove they have recovered from the virus in the past three months, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order that went into effect on Jan. 26. Travelers who have been vaccinated are not exempt from the rule. Many hotels in Mexico have added rapid testing to give travelers confidence to book trips, and there’s testing available at Cancun International Airport, though officials say it should be used as a “last resort.”

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