- Gov. Ron DeSantis appeared on Hannity this week to speak out against claims made by Vice President Kamala Harris regarding the dispatching of Hurricane Ian aid
- Harris last Friday stated that storm damages would have to be addressed in a way that is about giving resources based on equity
- DeSantis responded by stating that the state is working to deliver assistance to all impacted communities, and is placing priority on those that need it the most, specifically in southwest and central Florida
- The White House walked back on Harris’ comments, also stating that it is working to get necessary resources to all communities
Gov. Ron DeSantis appeared on Hannity to refute claims made by Vice President Kamala Harris regarding aid dispatch. While Harris last week stated that aid would be dispersed based on equity, DeSantis resoundingly claimed that the statement was untrue.
Harris garnered controversy after responding to a question regarding The White House’s efforts to respond to climate change-related weather disasters, claiming that aid would be given based on what she referred to as equity, referring to lower-income communities.
“It is our lowest income communities and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions and impacted by issues that are not of their own making,” Harris said last Friday. “And so we have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity.”
The DeSantis administration was quick to rebuke the statement, stating that Hurricane Ian relief aid is going to the areas that need it most.
Further, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell on Sunday responded to criticism of Harris, stating that she is committed to serving all communities.
State officials took quick measures to quell concern following the Vice President’s comments, especially after DeSantis claimed that her remarks caused “undue panic.”
“I think she’s trying to play identity politics with a storm and a natural disaster. I think it’s ridiculous,” said DeSantis. “It’s not going to happen. It’s totally not appropriate. You don’t have to politicize every single tragedy that happens in this country.”
The governor went on to explain that damage assessments show Hurricane Ian caused widespread damage across areas encompassing both affluent and working class neighborhoods and that the state is delivering aid based on priority.
“We had the FEMA administrator here in Florida, and she threw cold water on that,” continued DeSantis. “I think people in Florida … just want people to be helped. They want everyone to be helped, they want people to band together and get these people back on their feet, so that’s what we’re doing.”
The White House also took steps to clarify Harris’ comments, explaining that they too, at the federal level, are working to distribute aid to all communities impacted by the storm.
“We are committed to quickly getting resources to all communities impacted. Period. Full stop,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “But we also know that some people, particularly in lower income communities, have a hard time accessing that help.”
Hurricane Ian, which made landfall in Florida on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, dealt widespread damage to southwest and central Florida, killing at least 101 people.
Harris was misquoted, deliberately, by Republicans like DeSantis. She merely agreed with a questioner than racial disparities shouldn’t be perpetuated. Who would? DeSantis, evidently.