Texas Governor Greg Abbott Roasted for Federal Aid Delay and Leaving Texas During Hurricane

By: Alex Trent | Published: Jul 10, 2024

Governor of Texas Gregg Abbott has recently come under fire for his response to the Category 1 hurricane known as Hurricane Beryl that has left at least six people dead in the state and caused millions to lose power.

The governor left the state on Monday for Seoul, South Korea for what is being reported as an  “economic development tour of Asia” which has left some online furious. Abbott has also taken heat for a reported delay in federal aid to Texas for the hurricane from the Biden administration.

Leaving Texas

On Monday, Governor Abbott shared a post on X that showed him meeting with the Korea International Trade Association on an “economic development mission” which received heavy blowback from commenters.

Advertisement
A red Texas sign with a cactus behind it.

Enrique Macias/Unsplash

“No one cares — all eyes on the horrific, thrashing damage of #HurricaneBeryl here in Texas as you are on the other side of the globe…” said X user Kathleen Vale.

Advertisement

Power Grid

Other commenters slammed the governor for the failing power grid that news outlets have reported has knocked out power to millions of Texas residents.

Advertisement
A person's hands gently shielding the flame of a lit scented candle, with other lit candles blurred in the background, creating a warm, cozy atmosphere

Source: Rebecca Peterson-Hall/Unsplash

“Pretty out of touch post considering what your state is going through right now. Don’t pat yourself on the back when 2,700,000 people don’t have power right now, dude,” said one X user.

Accusations of Callousness

One commenter pointed out that the city of Houston, known for being populated by Democrats, was hit the hardest. The commenter suggested this may explain why the Republican governor doesn’t seem involved with the relief efforts.

Advertisement
An aerial view of downtown Houston, Texas.

Source: Vlad Busuioc/Unsplash

“But it’s okay Houston just took the brunt of a hurricane this morning. After all, mostly Democrats live there, and we all know how much you hate blue cities,” said X user Viv Jackson.

Delay in Aid

President Joe Biden has come out in the wake of the hurricane damage to blame Texas government leadership for a delay in federal aid reaching those who need it.

Advertisement
An image of Joe Biden standing in front of two microphones.

Michael Stokes/Wikimedia Commons

According to the Houston Chronicle, Biden on Tuesday told the outlet that Texas is receiving federal aid later than needed because state leadership was slow to request an official disaster declaration.

Tracking Down the Governor

Biden was unhappy with his inability to reach Abbott about the hurricane disaster relief. 

Close-up of President Joe Biden speaking earnestly into a microphone, dressed in a navy suit with a blue tie

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

“I’ve been trying to track down the governor…I don’t have any authority to do that without a specific request from the governor,” Biden said. “The federal government was there assessing, but we can’t declare a disaster declaration that would free up what we already staged—bottled water, meals, tarps, generators, etc. And so, we’re on the ground, we’re ready to go, we just needed authority to be able to do it.”

Advertisement

Repeated Claim

This accusation from Biden was also repeated by commenters who decried Abbott’s absence during the hurricane damage.

Greg Abbott, governor of Texas.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

“@JoeBiden had to call the @HoustonChron to let them know why funds are delayed. Because @GovAbbott hasn’t filed for assistant while away taking photos instead of delaying his trip. And @DanPatrick is somewhere poking his nose not wanting to answer the @POTUS’ phone call,” said an X user.

Advertisement

Denying the Accusation

On X, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick rejected Biden’s accusation, expressing disappointment in how the hurricane is being politicized.

A plane seen flying through dark storm clouds.

Source: Preillumination SeTh/Unsplash

“I am disappointed that President Biden is turning Hurricane Beryl into a political issue. We had a cordial call today that ended up with him granting my request for a major disaster declaration. But that’s not good enough for him. He is falsely accusing me that I was not reachable,” said Patrick.

Advertisement

Lt. Governor in Charge

Given that Governor Abbott is away in South Korea, that leaves Patrick in charge of the response as acting governor. Patrick explained on social media why there was a perceived delay in formally requesting the aid.

Unrecognizable person with umbrella on beach

Source: Dziana Hasanbekava/Pexels

“Before we made an official ask, we needed to determine what our outstanding needs were. We were working on that with local officials as we traveled the impacted areas. As I was being briefed today, the president called,” said Patrick.

Advertisement

Abbott’s Activity

Governor Abbott’s social media feed has been interspersed with both updates on his trip to Asia and concerns about the hurricane, leading to some feeling whiplash. Late Wednesday he released a statement grieving for the hurricane victims.

Greg Abbott waves toward a crowd on stage.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

“Our heart grieves for all Texans impacted by Hurricane Beryl, including our fellow Texans who tragically lost their lives or were injured,” Abbott said.

Advertisement

Keeping in Contact

Although one looking at the governor’s social media feed may think that he is currently distracted from the hurricane, Abbot asserts that he is in “regular contact” about the state’s response.

Greg Abbott seen talking into a microphone in front of a podium.

Source: World Travel & Tourism Council/Wikimedia Commons

“The safety of Texans remains our No. 1 priority,” said Abbott in a statement.

Advertisement

Updates Attacked

While Abbott continues to provide updates on the hurricane relief progess, the new posts also reinvigorate his critics to continue to point out that the governor remains absent during this critical time.

Greg Abbott talking with people standing behind him.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

“Still away. Enjoying his trip,” said one X user. “I hear the weather is lovely in South Korea right now. Why don’t you give us an update Greg?” said X user John Miller.

Advertisement