Thursday, September 15, 2005

A WHOOOOLE lot of explaining to do

This from Bob Herbert in today's NYT:

The patients and staff at Methodist could have been evacuated before Hurricane Katrina hit. But instead they were condemned to several days of fear and agony by bad decision-making in Louisiana and the chaotic ineptitude of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Some of the patients died.

Incredibly, when the out-of-state corporate owners of the hospital responded to the flooding by sending emergency relief supplies, they were confiscated at the airport by FEMA and sent elsewhere.

When private sources send things to a specific recipient, is FEMA authorized to confiscate it? I mean, if the Ritz was air-lifting Perrier to stranded travellers because all they was Walmart-brand bottled water, I could see making the case that it was more important to get water to people who had none. But who needs emergency supplies more than an abandoned hospital??


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