TYLER, Texas (KETK) – On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz talked about issues effecting East Texans in Tyler after a tour of the Genesis World Group Headquarters.

Cruz had a roundtable with local community leaders and business leaders to talk about the challenges facing East Texans right now.

“It is always good for the spirit to be with the community here in Tyler,” Cruz said. “The great common sense conservative values that define East Texas. I’m proud to represent the men and women of East Texas. I’m proud to represent the fight for 29 million Texans each and every day.”

His tour of Genesis began around 12:30 p.m. He said they are using cutting edge software, including drones to aid first responders and praised them for creating jobs in the region.

While answering questions from local media, he shared his views on hot topics effecting East Texans and most Americans.

He spoke on Afghanistan, saying his first priority would be to rescue Americans there. He said he’d like to see a plan by the Biden administrat ion to keep Americans safe, and another priority of his would be to help the Afghans that assisted the military.

He also talked about COVID-19 in East Texas and vaccines.

“I believe in vaccines. I’ve been vaccinated. My wife has been vaccinated, my parents have been vaccinated. Her parents have been vaccinated. But, I also believe in individual choice and freedom,” said Cruz.

During the meeting, the U.S. senator discussed his stance on mask mandates.

“Every day of the year, every year the little kids get sick and they pass on diseases,” Cruz added. “You’re right, if we put masks on all the kids and we put them in a bubble suit and locked them in a closet, you’d get fewer kids that got sick. They just also wouldn’t get to be kids.”

The CEO of Genesis said that the conversations they had today were successful and he looks forward to keeping the line of communication open.

According to their website, Genesis “develops, tests, and supports industry-leading software for mission critical and business critical two-way communications networks.”

After the tour, Cruz is scheduled to go down to Diboll where he will take place in a closed roundtable discussion with East Texas leaders near Whispering Pines Park. The discussion will be led by Lufkin Mayor Mark Hicks.

Cruz will make himself available to the press at 5 p.m. The junior senator has been one of President Biden’s most vocal critics over his withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Cruz wrote on Twitter Monday afternoon that Biden is “already limiting accountability and dodging responsibility for his botched, politically-timed, catastrophic withdrawal.”

The senator wrote that while a withdrawal was supported by most Americans, including himself, he called Biden’s plan “a catastrophe.”