James Lee Witt corrects Trump on grade for Puerto Rico relief effort | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

James Lee Witt corrects Trump on grade for Puerto Rico relief effort

Posted By on Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 11:17 AM

click to enlarge witt.jpg
Donald Trump twice yesterday used James Lee Witt, Bill Clinton's widely hailed FEMA director and now in the private business of assisting in disasters, as a reference on the work he's done responding to hurricanes this year. Media, particularly on the conservative end, have echoed the Trump remarks that Witt gave him an A+.

But hold on: Witt wasn't talking about Puerto Rico. A colleague of Witt's told me yesterday Witt was talking about responses to Harvey and Irma in Texas and Florida, not the later Puerto Rico disaster from Maria.

Witt himself made that clear today in a prepared statement and also through his Twitter account. Said Witt's statement:

I was Director of FEMA for eight years and in that position responded to 350 Presidential disaster declarations.

Disaster responses are about people - not politics.

Shortly after the initial responses to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in Florida and Texas, I was asked if I would give the Trump Administration and FEMA an A+ for those responses. I said I would, on both hurricanes. This was prior to hurricane Maria in Puerto Rica and the Virgin Islands. Even today it is yet to be determined whether the ultimate response to that hurricane will get an A, C or F or something else. As time goes by that will become apparent.

Disaster responses in the continental United States are made easier by our systems of highways, power repair and water supply and the large number of people and specialized equipment which can react with great speed.

Puerto Rico and the Virgin islands, and our citizens there, are not as easy to reach as Florida or Texas, and present special and substantial issues of planning, logistics, and shipping, offloading, housing, water and adequacy of medical facilities.


James Lee Witt
Former FEMA Director
The reports from Puerto Rico remain dire.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • Today in Trump: Obstruction of justice anyone?

    It's the New York Times with the news today. Fired FBI Director James Comey kept notes of his talks with Donald Trump. A memo he wrote in February after a meeting with Trump said the president asked him to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser.
    • May 16, 2017
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016

Most Shared

  • Conflicts of interest in the legislatures

    The Center for Public Integrity and the Associated Press collaborated for a project aimed at highlighting state legislators whose lawmaking might be affected by private business interests.
  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.
  • Cats and dogs

    I've always been leery of people who dislike animals. To my wife and me, a house without dog hair in the corners and a cat perched on the windowsill is as barren as a highway rest stop. We're down to three dogs and two cats, the smallest menagerie we've had for years.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation