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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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The front page of a Jamaican newspaper shows Sen. Ted Cruz and his college roommate David Panton (center) in 2001. Photo: Rosalind Helderman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

In explaining his disastrous Cancún trip, Sen. Ted Cruz failed to mention his college roommate also was along for the visit.

  • Axios has learned Cruz (R-Texas) invited David Panton, his longtime friend and former roommate at Princeton and Harvard Law, to join the family getaway.
  • An aide tells Axios the senator extended the invitation only after the Cruz family planned the vacation last Tuesday.
  • Panton accepted, and flew to Mexico.

The bottom line: Panton stayed at the Ritz-Carlton, while Cruz schlepped home.

  • Panton grew up in Jamaica and is now a private equity investor based in Atlanta. He didn't respond to Axios requests for comment.

Go deeper

"SNL" cold open imagines Ted Cruz and Andrew Cuomo on Britney Spears talk show

A screenshot of the latest "Saturday Night Live" cold open. Photo: Will Heath/NBC

The latest "Saturday Night Live" cold open imagined Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on a talk show hosted by Britney Spears called "Oops, You Did it Again."

Details: Chloe Fineman's Spears asked Aidy Bryant's Cruz if he understood why he was called a coward for his trip to Mexico amid Texas' winter storms. He replied that's "the nicest word I heard." Pete Davidson as Cuomo appeared, insisting "I said I was sorry" about the COVID nursing home deaths — prompting "Cruz" to say "we're both strong, misunderstood men." "Cuomo" didn't react well:

  • Bridgerton actor Regé-Jean Page hosted, while Bad Bunny was the "SNL" musical guest.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).

Cuomo: "I am not going to resign"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo apologized Wednesday for acting in a way that made women feel "uncomfortable," but insisted that he has "never touched anyone inappropriately" and said he will not resign.

Driving the news: Cuomo reiterated in his first public appearance since sexual harassment allegations surfaced that he will fully cooperate with a team of independent investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, but suggested that demands for his resignation from were simply "politics."

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