President Donald Trump went out of his way to personally order FEMA to provide top treatment to Alabama in the aftermath of multiple tornadoes this week, and proved his bias against blue states in the process.
Alabama is a red state with a Republican governor. The state also voted for Trump in 2016 and will likely do so again in 2020.
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And so, it came as no surprise that Trump is making sure the state gets the best response from FEMA possible after a round of deadly storms rolled through earlier this week.
FEMA has been told directly by me to give the A Plus treatment to the Great State of Alabama and the wonderful people who have been so devastated by the Tornadoes. @GovernorKayIvey, one of the best in our Country, has been so informed. She is working closely with FEMA (and me!).
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2019
Every state deserves the same kind of attention from FEMA after disasters strike. But Trump has been using FEMA as a political weapon, denying help to states that did not vote for him while making sure the states that did get preferential treatment.
For instance, Trump did not blame Alabama for the tornadoes that touched down, nor did he threaten to take funding away. But he blamed California after wildfires ravaged the state in November and actually ordered FEMA to stop sending emergency relief funds.
There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
With proper Forest Management, we can stop the devastation constantly going on in California. Get Smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2018
Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2019
While Trump did not directly attack North Carolina on Twitter, he only offered the state a pittance in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew as the state only received an offer of $6 million out of the $929 million the state asked for. North Carolina voted for Trump in 2016, but has a Democratic governor, whom Trump is likely punishing in an effort to gin up opposition against him to benefit Republicans in the next election.
Most infamously, however, is the way Trump has treated Puerto Rico, even going so far as to deny that 3,000 Puerto Ricans died because of Hurricane Maria. Texas and Florida both suffered hurricane losses the same year but Trump made sure both states received immediate attention from FEMA and as much funding necessary to rebuild.
Clearly, Trump is rewarding states that voted for him with preferential treatment from FEMA while using it as a political weapon to punish blue states or states with Democratic governors. It’s a shameful use of emergency management services and disaster relief funding that every Republican should condemn if they truly love America as they claim. Because all they are doing right now is guaranteeing that these states will never vote for a Republican again and setting precedent for a Democratic president to retaliate against red states in the future.
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