Uvalde mayor cites lack of funding for mental health, yet US gives ‘billions to countries that don’t like us’

(Video: Fox News)

The Mayor of Uvalde, Texas, the location of the horrific mass shooting at the Robb Elementary School, is pondering the same question that has perplexed many of his fellow Americans.

That is, why do politicians seem okay with writing a taxpayer-funded blank check for foreign aid, even benefiting hostile nations, while there are so many serious problems needing attention here at home?

Lamenting the lack of sufficient resources for mental health treatment, Don McLaughlin told Fox News in the video clip embedded above, ,”No one wants to pick up that tab…we give billions of dollars away to countries that don’t even like us. We ought to be taking that money and invest in our own country and build facilities.”

In an interview on “America Reports” while he was in his car in transit, Mayor McLaughlin underscored the need to address the psychological and emotional well-being of potential offenders. “How many times do we hear that a shooter had mental health problems — he never got help that he needed…they dropped them off the face of the earth. Nobody wants to pick up that tab to treat the mental health deal. Mental health is real.”

Anchor John Roberts prompted that portion of the discussion by quoting Mayor McLaughlin who had previously declared that it’s time for all talk and no action elected officials at all levels “to shut up and put your money where your mouth is.”

“And like I said, that’s not the only factor. The gun played a role in it, too, but what if we would have been able to help this child. What if some incident would have triggered that somebody could have caught, and we could have got him help, and we might could have avoided this,” the mayor asserted.

Rural Texas, in particular, is bereft of mental health treatment centers, he said.

“You have to go to San Antonio… or you got to go Austin. They are two and a half hours away, and a lot of these families don’t have the ability to get there…We keep talking about treating mental health, addressing the issue, and we need to quit talking about it. We give billions of dollars away to countries that don’t even like us. We ought to be taking that money and investing  in our own country and building facilities.”

This shortfall is particularly pertinent given the burgeoning homeless population, many of whom are cognitive challenged, in Texas as well as throughout the country, he noted. “They’re not getting any help from anybody,” the GOP mayor contended.

McLaughlin expressed hope that his city will receive more aid going forward, and that something actually had been in the works, but he implied it was short-circuited owing to lack of funding.

“Two years ago, we started working, right before COVID started, the city donated 7-1/2 acres, and we were trying to get a mental health hospital built in Uvalde, because it would be the hub for 44 counties to be able to come to Uvalde and receive treatment. Of course, you know, all of a sudden it was a go, and then all of a sudden, we were told we had to raise $26 million to build this facility. We don’t have that kind of money.”

He added that the city is contemplating building a smaller facility. “This hospital in Uvalde would be the first opportunity to service all of these counties in our area. And hopefully we can get this hospital built and have the health that these people need in our area and the surrounding area.”

Uvalde is also the site of an illegal immigrant detention center.

Mayor McLaughlin, first elected in 2014,  declined to weigh in on the controversy about the alleged failure of local cops to enter the school building immediately and confront the gunman.

“You know, whatever happened, it’s a tragedy; we’re gonna have to find out what mistakes were made or what happened, and get to the bottom of it. But I’m not on the law enforcement side, so I haven’t been privy to all their investigation,” he said.

Noting that extensive counseling services are being provided to the families on an ongoing basis, he also vowed that the close-knit, united community would eventually bounce back from the ghastly, heart-wrenching incident. “The outpouring of love from and comfort that we’re getting from all over the world and the country is one of the things that helps heal us,” the mayor said.

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