Thursday, August 31, 2017

Trump to Donate $1M to Harvey Relief Efforts



Thursday, 31 Aug 2017 04:23 PM 

President Donald Trump will pledge $1 million in personal funds for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday.

"He'll pledge, proudly, $1 million of his own personal money to help the people of Texas and Louisiana," Sanders told reporters at the daily briefing. "He said he would like to join in the efforts that a lot of the people that we've seen across this country do."

Sanders added Trump called on reporters to suggest which relief efforts he should donate to.

"He's actually asked that I check with the folks in this room, since you are very good at research and have been doing a lot of reporting into the groups and organizations that are best and most effective in helping and providing aid," she said.

"He'd love some suggestions from the folks here — and I'd be happy to take those if any of you have them."

Harvey's flood waters have heavily damaged tens of thousands of homes across Texas and killed as many as 37 people.

The storm is now threatening the region near the Texas-Louisiana state line.

Sanders said she was not sure how the donation would be made, whether through the Trump Organization, the Trump Foundation or any other entity.

"He said he was personally going to give," she told reporters. "I don't know the legal part of exactly that, but he said his personal money.  "So, I would assume that comes directly from him."

Trump has come under fire in the past for giving far less of his income to charitable causes than many other wealthy Americans.

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump are still planning to visit flood-ravaged areas Saturday — and Sanders said the schedule was being finalized Thursday.
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, visited Texas on Thursday.

"Tentatively, he plans to be in the Houston area of Texas and possibly Lake Charles, Louisiana, but again, depending on conditions, that may change a little bit," Sanders said.

In an update on Harvey relief efforts, Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert said more than 100,000 homes have been damaged by the storm and more deaths were expected once clean-up efforts begin.

"We're going to have 100,000 affected homes, all with different degrees of insurance," he told reporters. "We'll have to address those on a case-by-case basis as we move forward, but I want to put a scope of magnitude on this."

Bossert said the administration would be putting together an immediate supplemental aid request to Congress and then would make a second request later once officials have a clearer idea of the full scope of the damage.

"A little word of caution," he then began. "A lot of lost lives end up in this time zone right after a response.
"We lose, unfortunately, some lives in an immediate disaster, but then in the immediate response and recovery phase . . . people will be stressed.

"The elderly, when they're stressed, tend to get sick," he added. "That sickness can lead to death, unfortunately.
"So, unfortunately, we will see additional losses of life if history is any prologue," Bossert said. "We will see an additional loss of life.

"Please try to avoid that. Try to avoid strain and stress. Try to get to where there's food, water, and shelter — and take care of yourself so that you can then take care of others."

He encouraged Harvey victims to file claims for federal flood insurance and other aid as quickly as possible and said FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program would be funded to pay out all claims.

"If you have a flood insurance policy and you've been paying your premiums, call and get your claim in," he said. "There is no problem. There is no shortfall.

"We have enough money to meet those claims — and you're going to get what you've got coming to you under your policy."

Responding to questions about businesses and retailers gouging Harvey victims, Bossert warned: "Gouging will not be tolerated.

"Jeff Sessions and the president of the United States will not tolerate gouging," he added, referring to the attorney general.

"Anybody that's going to go out and try to take advantage of a disaster victim ought to expect law enforcement to come down on them with a hammer.

"It's not acceptable on a regular day — and it's certainly not acceptable when people are suffering."

Bossert also said illegal immigrants who are Harvey victims "who are in need of immediate life-saving" will not be arrested and deported by federal agents.

"No individual human being should worry about their immigration status, unless they've committed a crime on top of coming here illegally, when it comes to getting food, water, and shelter," he told reporters.

"The authorities won't be conducting any routine swipes or searches inside those shelters. Those are shelters for food, water, and providing kind of insulation against exposure.

"We won't go rounding people up there."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't lose the plot. It's too fantastic to believe, then maybe not.