Colorado City’s mayor posted “no-one owes you or your family anything”, amid a deadly winter storm.
The mayor of a city in Texas has quit after posting that “only the strong will survive and the weak will perish” in a deadly winter storm sweeping the southern US state.
Tim Boyd, the mayor of Colorado City, took to Facebook in anger at people “crying and looking for a handout”.
“Sink or swim it’s your choice,” he raged. “The city and country… or any other service, owes you nothing.”
Millions are now in a third day without power and struggling for heat in Texas.
More than 20 people have died across four southern states.
In his original post, now deleted, Mayor Boyd starts by saying: “Let me hurt some feelings while I have a minute.”
He says it is not local government’s duty to support people through “trying times”, adding: “I’m sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout.”
Calling the situation the “product of a socialist government”, he urges people to think “outside of the box” and not wait “for someone to come and rescue you”.
He adds: “Only the strong will survive and the weak will parish [sic].”
In a follow-up post he mentions his resignation and “apologises for the wording and some of the phrases that were used”, adding: “I would never want to hurt the elderly or anyone that is in true need of help to be left to fend for themselves.
“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 also said his wife had been sacked over his comments and the family had received “hateful” messages.
Colorado City, in west-central Texas, has a population of about 4,000.
Many Texas residents have been deprived of power due to the enormous surge in demand.
Houston police said a woman and a child died from carbon monoxide poisoning as they ran their car for heat, while four people died in a house fire in Sugar Land. They are among at least 10 deaths in the state, local media say.
Local officials and service providers have come in for criticism for the loss of power and other services.