Florida’s former top emergency management official — a Democrat who voted for President Joe Biden — pushed back on a Washington Post reporter who attacked GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis over his response to last week’s condo collapse in Surfside.
In a tweet, WaPo national reporter Hannah Dreier insinuated that DeSantis held off on calling in the Federal Emergency Management Agency after the building collapsed when he could have had the agency’s resources almost immediately if he had requested them.
“There’s a saying in emergency management: The first 24 hours are the only 24 hours. FEMA was ready to deploy to the condo collapse almost immediately, and included the crisis in its daily briefing, but didn’t get permission from Gov. DeSantis to get on the ground for a full day,” she wrote.
But Jared Moskowitz, the former Florida Division of Emergency Management director, refuted Dreier’s claim, noting that Miami-based FEMA personnel were on the scene quickly.
“FEMA’s mantra is ‘locally executed, state managed, and federal supported,” he wrote. “As the former director in FL who voted for Biden this tweet below is 100% Malarkey. FEMA would have deployed the federally funded USAR teams, which are located in @MiamiDadeCounty. They were already there.”
FEMA’s mantra is “locally executed, state managed, and federal supported.” As the former director in FL who voted for Biden this tweet below is 100% Malarkey. FEMA would have deployed the federally funded USAR teams, which are located in @MiamiDadeCounty. They were already there. https://t.co/Czj0GYY9yV
— Jared MASKowitz 😷 (@JaredEMoskowitz) June 28, 2021
DeSantis himself tweeted on Sunday: “First responders are making progress and @FEMA is working with @FLSERT to make sure all the families affected by the Surfside disaster are taken care of with counselors, resources, shelter, and assistance.”
First responders are making progress and @FEMA is working with @FLSERT to make sure all the families affected by the Surfside disaster are taken care of with counselors, resources, shelter, and assistance. pic.twitter.com/0e4pdj2WOf
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 27, 2021
“After witnessing the heroic rescue efforts and meeting with partners today, I’m confident we are all doing everything we can to help the #Surfside community. @fema will continue providing resources & technical support while also helping people apply for disaster assistance,” the agency’s administrator, Deanne Criswell, noted as well.
“This is missing important context, @hannahdreier never asked me for comment. Emergency response started within minutes of the disaster led by Miami Dade County, amazing first responders. county mayor signed local emergency dec 4:40 & @GovRonDeSantis signed [executive order] less than 1hr later,” wrote Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’ deputy press secretary.
Miami Dade County emergency declaration signed by Mayor Cava at 4:33p. State EO signed by Gov DeSantis at 5:32p pic.twitter.com/yzorekArnS
— Christina Pushaw (@ChristinaPushaw) June 27, 2021
However, as of this writing, Dreier’s tweet remained online and had not been fact-checked by Twitter.
“This tweet has been up for a full day now despite @hannahdreier knowing it’s a lie, multiple receipts proving it’s a lie, and @ChristinaPushaw calling her to correct the record but Hannah refused to take the call,” commentator and former NYPD officer John Cardillo wrote Sunday on the platform.
Meanwhile, the recovery effort in Surfside is continuing, as emergency personnel recovered four more bodies from the ruins overnight, bringing the official death toll to nine, according to the Miami Herald.
“The latest victims were discovered along with ‘additional human remains’ in a 125-foot long trench dug into the rubble to aid rescue and recover teams — the newest tactic in the round-the-clock excavation of an unstable, sometimes shifting mountain of concrete and twisted steel,” the paper added.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Sunday evening that authorities were working to identify the bodies before notifying family members.
“We are not stopping until we pull every resident out of that rubble,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said, according to the paper.
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