The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency insisted that Hurricane Ian aid will be provided to “all communities” — dismissing Vice President Kamala Harris‘ position that the assistance should be “based on equity.”
”We’re going to support all communities. I committed that to the governor, 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,” FEMA head Deanne Criswell said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
Criswell was responding to a question from host Margaret Brennan about Harris’ comments last week and the backlash that it prompted, including from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reelection campaign, which said the remarks could cause “undue panic.”
Earlier in the show, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said the FEMA aid should be colorblind.
Criswell responded that she had been on the ground assessing damage from Hurricane Ian in Florida on Friday and Saturday and “there are a lot of people that are going to need assistance as a result of this.”
She also insisted that the federal government will remove any barriers that hinder people’s ability to access aid.
“These people that need our help the most are going to be able to access the help that we offer. I know that the vice president and the president, they share the same values,” Criswell said, adding “we are going to be there to support everybody that needs help.”
The vice president raised eyebrows last week when she said that “communities of color” should be first in line for hurricane relief.
“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,” Harris told actress Priyanka Chopra in an interview at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum on Friday.
“If we want people to be in an equal place sometimes we need to take into account those disparities and do that work,” she said.