Images allegedly showing Ted Cruz aboard a United Airlines flight from Houston, TX to Cancun, Mexico.

Source: @Ian McBride via Twitter

Will Senator Ted Cruz be known as “Flying Ted” now?

Early Thursday, social media broke out with multiple photos allegedly showing a masked Cruz boarding a plane in Houston and flying to Cancun, Mexico the day before, despite millions of its Texans froze from historically low temperatures and widespread power outages.

Hours after thousands of posts on Twitter shared these photos, other images showed someone with the Republican’s last name and the first initial of his legal first name – Rafael – waiting for a United Airlines flight from Cancun back to Houston departing Thursday afternoon should .

At the time, the temperature in Houston was only 34 degrees Fahrenheit. In Cancun it was a mild 84 degrees.

NBC News has contacted Cruz’s office repeatedly about the pictures but received no response.

Images allegedly showing Ted Cruz with Heidi Cruz (circled) on board a United Airlines flight from Houston, TX to Cancun, Mexico.

Source: @Ian McBride via Twitter

The Houston Police Department told NBC News that Cruz staff contacted the department on Wednesday afternoon to assist Cruz with his arrival and movements through Houston International Airport, where a scheduled flight to Cancun at 4:44 p.m. local time was planned.

Images posted on social media show a woman who appears to be Cruz’s wife Heidi with him at the airport on Wednesday.

Former MP Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat who lost a narrow Senate election to Cruz in 2018, beat him up during an interview Thursday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Cruz “is on vacation in Cancun as the people of the state he was elected to represent and serve are literally freezing to death,” said O’Rourke, who spent months in 2019 campaigning for the Democratic nomination for president.

Julian Castro, former San Antonio mayor who served as secretary for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, tweeted, “In crises like this, Congressmen play a vital role in connecting their constituents to emergency services and aid. “

Cruz “should be calling federal agencies, not a trip to Mexico,” Castro wrote.

Ted Cruz on standby for a United Airlines flight

Source: United Airlines

On Tuesday, Cruz tweeted in response to an article criticizing him for making fun of California’s blackouts months ago: “I have no defense. A snowstorm hits Texas and our state is closed. Not good. ”

In December, Cruz criticized Democratic officials for failing to follow their own restrictions on coronavirus pandemics, including Austin, Texas, Mayor Steve Adler, who himself flew to Mexico to attend his daughter’s wedding in November despite urging Austin residents to leave to stay.

“Hypocrites. Complete and utter hypocrites,” wrote Cruz in his December 2 tweet.

In July, a photo was widely reported of Cruz wearing no mask while on an American Airlines flight. The person who took this photo, who worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaigning Committee and took another picture of Cruz without a mask at an airport gate, stated that American Airlines guidelines require travelers to wear face-covering.

Cruz’s then-spokeswoman claimed Cruz temporarily removed his mask to drink coffee.

Former President Donald Trump, who ran against Cruz in the 2016 Republican nomination contests, regularly ridiculed him with the contemptuous nickname “Lying Ted”.

But Cruz later became an ardent Trump supporter and tried unsuccessfully last month to get Congress to reject confirmation of Joe Biden’s electoral college victories in several states.

That verification process was interrupted on January 6th by the invasion of the Capitol complex by thousands of Trump supporters. Five people, including a Capitol Police Office, died as a result of the uprising.