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Schumer politicizes deadly ice storm, mocks Texas: ‘Hope they learned a lesson’

Dozens of deaths have been tied to last week’s ice storm in Texas, and experts expect the death toll to go much higher.

And while it may take weeks before we know just how high, that didn’t stop Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., from mocking the Republican-run state, as he used the frigid winter storm to push climate change, exploiting the deaths to say he hoped Texas “learned a lesson.”

“The bottom line is, Texas thought it could go it alone and built a system that ignored climate change,” the Democratic leader said at a Sunday news conference.

“It was not what’s called resilient, and now Texas is paying the price,” Schumer added. “I hope they learned a lesson.”

The New York Post reported that Texas is the only state in the continental U.S. “to run its own stand-alone electricity grid and had not been forced to weatherize because it is not subject to federal oversight.”

“When we build power — when we build anything now — we have to take into account that climate change is real,” Schumer said. “Or people will have to be caught, the way the people in Texas were.”

“When I wrote the [Hurricane] Sandy bill, $60 billion for New York, we made sure everything was resilient,” he added. “When they built back the subways, built back this, built back that, they were going to be resistant to climate changes, and we have to do that.”

At no point did Schumer appear to offer any condolences for those who died, or sympathy for what Texas residents were forced to endure last week, going days without power in freezing temperatures that included unprecedented icing, as he politicized the tragedy.

Schumer was asked by a reporter about Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, being caught up in the controversy over going to Cancun, Mexico, amid last week’s storm.

“Ted Cruz is getting overwhelming criticism from Democrats and Republicans, and it is well-deserved,” the Senate leader said.

Schumer was not wearing a mask during the briefing and at one point coughed long and hard into an open hand — this garnering little attention from the media.

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:

Tom Tillison

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