(National Sentinel) Hurricane Maria: A disaster expert is indirectly hitting back at the myriad of haters who are attempting to paint the Trump administration’s response to the storm-related devastation of Puerto Rico as woefully inadequate.
As reported by Breitbart News, Former Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Tevi Troy told the news site’s Sunday SiriusXM radio program that the administration’s response to Hurricane Maria’s devastation was actually better than the responses to storm damage in Texas and Florida, which were widely praised as efficient and timely.
“I’ve been looking into this pretty carefully,” Troy said. “The truth is that FEMA — if you look at this in retrospect, we may find that FEMA did a more Herculean task, in some ways in Maria, in terms of the distance they had to travel, the amount of logistics they had to bring, and the propping up of the local response effort. So I think in time we may actually praise FEMA to some degree because they had to do more here than in the Harvey situation.”
Troy served in the George W. Bush administration which dealt, rather inefficiently, with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans head-on. He said that FEMA had learned much since Hurricane Katrina — the disaster to which Trump’s critics are eager to compare Hurricane Maria — but said that Puerto Rico’s weak economy and struggling government made the federal response to Puerto Rico’s problems more difficult:
A state with a strong economy and a strong response network — Florida and Texas, for example, are among the two best states at emergency response — that kind of place is easier to respond. That place has an easier time recovering because you have an existing strong economy, and you have an existing situation of a very strong response operation.
Troy wrote an op-ed in late August in which he praised President Donald Trump’s response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana. “Mr. Trump’s handling of the hurricane response thus far is to be commended,” he wrote, adding — prophetically, given the storms that followed — “this is no time for complacency.”
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