President Joe Biden spoke with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Thursday concerning the winter storm that has hobbled the state. He “conveyed his support to the people of Texas,” “reiterated that the federal government will continue to work hand-in-hand” with state and native authorities and promised any further federal catastrophe help.
On Friday, Biden mentioned he was planning to go to Texas subsequent week, so long as he might accomplish that with out complicating reduction efforts.
“I don’t want to be a burden. When the president lands in any city in America, it has a long tail,” he mentioned.
Nothing about what Biden did was exceptional. It’s customary working process for presidents to help states when there are pure disasters and assist as a lot as attainable ― with out getting in the best way.
But it’s additionally utterly reverse to how President Donald Trump did issues.
Plenty of politicians mess it up although, turning pure disasters into human-caused ones. President George W. Bush’s administration grew to become well-known for its incompetence and lack of motion after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. More than 1,800 individuals died.
Trump took it to a brand new degree. He used disasters to actual revenge and blackmail politicians who weren’t correctly appreciative of his greatness. And unable to point out empathy with victims, Trump primarily noticed these conditions as methods to advertise himself.
Last yr, Trump took intention at Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) for his coronavirus restrictions, implying he would possibly withhold federal assist ― resembling catastrophe reduction ― in retaliation.
“I’ll remember it, Tom. I’m going to remember it, Tom,” Trump mentioned. He then held his hand to his ear, like a telephone, and added, “‘Hello, Mr. President, this is Gov. Wolf. I need help. I need help.’ You know what, these people are bad.”
He additionally blamed California for the raging wildfires final summer time, once more saying he would possibly withhold federal assist as a result of officers weren’t doing what he needed.
“I said, you’ve got to clean your floors, you’ve got to clean your forests — there are many, many years of leaves and broken trees, and they’re like, like, so flammable, you touch them and it goes up,” Trump mentioned, including, “Maybe we’re just going to have to make them pay for it because they don’t listen to us.”
Trump additionally tried to dole out coronavirus reduction in an analogous approach, threatening in November to withhold vaccines from New York as a result of the Democratic governor there had criticized him.
According to the White House readout of Biden’s name with Abbott, the president by no means made any form of comparable threats. Abbott’s workplace didn’t return a request for additional remark.
Trump used pure disasters, significantly devastating hurricanes, to advertise his model. Approximately 3,000 people died after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017. Trump nonetheless mentioned it was “one of the best jobs that’s ever been done.”
The earlier month, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Louisiana, inflicting catastrophic flooding and harm. Trump mentioned that his purpose was for individuals to look again at his response in 5 to 10 years “as, this is the way to do it. We want to do it better than ever before.”
But Trump additionally needed to advertise his marketing campaign. He repeatedly wore his own campaign merchandise, which was on sale at his web site, to Harvey occasions.
His lack of ability to empathize with individuals who have been struggling was additionally on full show. Trump visited Puerto Rico in 2017 and met with Hurricane Maria victims, telling a pair, “We’re going to help you out. Have a good time.”
He additionally chucked some paper towels to a crowd of survivors, in a second that the pool reporter described because the president doing his “best Steph Curry impersonation.”
As with the coronavirus, Trump not often, if ever, expressed sympathy with victims of pure disasters.
But Trump additionally tried to kill science that made him look unhealthy. In September 2019, Trump falsely tweeted that Hurricane Dorian was headed for Alabama. Rather than admit that the president was incorrect, somebody within the administration used a marker to physician a map of Dorian’s path to make it appear like Trump was proper.
He additional made his administration publicly disavow climate officers in Alabama who had disagreed along with his baseless declare.
Biden has authorised emergency declarations for Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
“Jill and I are keeping Texas, Oklahoma, and other impacted states in our prayers,” he tweeted on Thursday. “I’ve declared states of emergency, authorized FEMA to provide generators and supplies, and am ready to fulfill additional requests. Please heed the instructions of local officials and stay safe.”
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