A western Texas mayor has reportedly told residents seeking help amid record-low temperatures and rolling blackouts to quit being “lazy” and that “only the strong will survive and the weak will parish [sic].”
Tim Boyd announced his resignation Tuesday after anger over his since-deleted Facebook post boiled over among residents of Colorado City, where temperatures have dipped into the teens. It was unclear whether he resigned before or after berating his constituents.
“No one owes you [and] your family anything; nor is it the local government’s responsibility to support you during trying times like this! Sink or swim it’s your choice!” he said in his post, according to local stations KTXS and KTAB/KRBC.
Boyd made another post hours later, stating that he had resigned and wanted to apologize for his language, though apparently not his message, which he said had been taken out of context.
“I won’t deny for one minute what I said in my post this morning,” he said. Boyd instead said he was sorry for “the wording and some of the phrases that were used” and that his crude dismissal did not apply to the elderly or to those “in true need of help.”
“I was only making the statement that those folks that are too lazy to get up and fend for themselves but are capable should not be dealt a handout,” he said.
He also suggested that he had resigned before posting his social media screed.
“I was speaking as a citizen as I am NOT THE MAYOR anymore,” he said.
Attempts to reach Boyd and the city for comment were not immediately successful Wednesday.
Boyd’s comments came as millions across the state continued to endure freezing temperatures that have killed at least 21 people as the state’s power grid struggles to supply adequate electricity, forcing some areas to go without power for hours or even more than a day.
As of Wednesday morning, roughly 2.4 million people remained without power across the state, according to online outage tracker poweroutage.us. Electricity companies have said it’s not yet known when full power may be restored.
Local authorities have meanwhile urged residents not to use fuel-burning heat sources that create carbon monoxide indoors. These devices, including grills, stoves, gas generators and car engines, have been blamed for at least two deaths and several hospitalizations this week. In one such case, a Houston family of four is believed to have been poisoned after leaving a car running in their home’s attached garage to create heat, killing two of them.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it in. Breathing in a lot of the gas can cause a person to pass out or die. Those who are sleeping or drunk may not realize they are being poisoned before it’s too late, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.