Governor DeSantis (R-FL) has recently revealed that he has not spoken with President Biden (D) since his brief visit to Florida after Hurricane Ian struck the state on September 28, 2022. After promising federal aid, it seems that Biden and the federal government have forgotten Florida, and are dragging their feet to help battered Southwest Florida.
"I have not spoken with him since that day, " said Gov. DeSantis after The Floridian Publisher Javier Manjarres asked him whether Biden had been in touch with him in the month following Hurricane Ian making landfall in Florida.
Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) Director Kevin Guthrie addressed the question, stating that he has been in touch with "numerous people at FEMA" who have helped, adding that even though "there are some hangups" and "things we disagree on," FEMA's support has been "supportive."
Gov. DeSantis, who wore a green tie in celebration of St. Patrick's Day, then said that he believed that the federal government should reimburse Florida for building bridges and roads, construction projects that fall under the purview of the federal government.
"We’re going to try to get reimbursed for doing the bridges," said DeSantis before reiterating, "I think we should get reimbursed, but at the end of the day, I think that is the risk we were willing to take."
Rep. Byron Donalds, who represents the region most impacted by Hurricane Ian, took a harsher tone against FEMA, saying that it has "been very, very slow, if not tepid in their response to housing."
Rep. Donalds divulged that there are still some 1,400 residents without housing as a result of the storm.
In the Fall of 2022, DeSantis requested President Biden grant a Major Disaster Declaration for all 67 counties, for all categories, and all types of assistance, due to the ongoing devastating impacts of Hurricane Ian. Governor DeSantis also requested President Biden grant the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) the authority to provide 100% federal cost share for debris removal and emergency protective measures (FEMA Categories A and B) for the first 60 days from landfall.
This FEMA grant can only be authorized by the President of the United States. The letter with this request can be found here.
Again, Florida did not just sit idly by and wait for assistance from the federal government. DeSantis oversaw one of the most successful Hurricane recovery efforts in the history of the state, with the Sanibel causeway being repaired a week earlier than expected within 15 days. DeSantis also poured millions of dollars from the state into mental health resources for victims of Hurricane Ian.
Since Hurricane Ian hit Florida In late September 2022, President Biden has made numerous weekend getaway trips to his homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, but only one to hurricane-ravaged Florida.
Publisher Javier Manjarres contributed to this article.
— Javier Manjarres (@JavManjarres) March 17, 2023