This past Friday evening, the campaign of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) put Vice President Kamala Harris (D) on blast concerning the statements that she issued that seemed to express that the Biden administration is taking strides to heavily prioritize the distribution of relief efforts and funds in the wake of Hurricane Ian based, in part, on the victim’s race.
Harris issued these comments as part of a back and forth at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum held in Washington, D.C. with leftist Priyanka Chopra.
“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,” expressed Harris. “And so we have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity, understanding not everyone starts out at the same place.”
She went on to add, “And if we want people to be in an equal place, sometimes we have to take into account those disparities and do that work.”
Christina Pushaw, the Rapid Response Director for DeSantis, issued a response directly to the statements made by Harris by claiming that it was entirely false.
“This is false. @VP ‘s rhetoric is causing undue panic and must be clarified,” explained Pushaw. “FEMA Individual Assistance is already available to all Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, regardless of race or background. If you need assistance visit http://disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.”
This is false. @VP's rhetoric is causing undue panic and must be clarified. FEMA Individual Assistance is already available to all Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, regardless of race or background. If you need assistance visit https://t.co/x9X8AstnzL or call 1-800-621-3362. https://t.co/idsw1PX86x
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) September 30, 2022
Additionally, Deanne Criswell, a FEMA administrator, stepped up to speak about the comments coming from the Vice President.
As part of an appearance on the Sunday edition of “Face the Nation,” Criswell was asked to respond directly to the comments made by Harris. Criswell answered by claiming that the VP was trying to speak about issues in the more long term. However, she also made sure to reassure the American people that the federal government resources would be going out in an effort to support all people that have been affected by the natural disaster.
“[O]ur programs support everybody,” expressed Criswell to the show’s host, Margaret Brennan. “I would say I believe some of the things the vice president was talking about are the long-term recovery and rebuilding these communities to be able to withstand disasters, so they can have less impact. We’re going to support all communities. I committed that to (Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis), I commit to you right here that all Floridians are going to be able to get the help that is available to them through our programs.”