In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma’s devastating effects on the Florida Keys, Lisa Yacovelle-Kronus, a resident who rode out the storm on the island, spoke to CNN and blasted Trump’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for its inadequate response.
"I'd rather be here than away, wondering what happened to the house," Key West resident who rode out the storm says https://t.co/uO1AeckuAX
— CNN (@CNN) September 13, 2017
“FEMA is not producing the food that they’re supposed to, or the amount of food. They brought some MREs [Meals Ready-to-Eat]—not enough for 400 people that lined up for an hour to get them.”
While Trump is busy touting the government’s response to the storm – even before it made landfall – Yacovelle-Kronus’ response is a testament to the disconnect between messaging and actuality.
The U.S. Coast Guard, FEMA and all Federal and State brave people are ready. Here comes Irma. God bless everyone!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2017
Trump’s efforts to frame FEMA in a positive light, regardless of its actual output, is a desperate and transparent effort to avoid the same problems that former President George W. Bush faced in 2005 in response to Hurricane Katrina.
“Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government and to the extent the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility,” Bush said.
The government’s response to the hurricane was so bungled that FEMA Director Mike Brown was forced to resign.
The Trump administration is clearly more interested in positive messaging than actually helping those in need. Straight from a resident on the ground in the Florida Keys, FEMA is not doing its job. Rather than posting on Twitter about how great a clearly underperforming government agency is doing, the Trump administration should take care to feed desperate Americans. If not, like his predecessor in 2005, Trump will be held accountable.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.