A Washington Post reporter’s take blaming Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis for acting too slowly after the Surfside condominium collapse was bad enough that it got blasted by a Democrat who was on President Joe Biden’s short list to take over the Federal Emergency Management Agency — and he even used the president’s favorite word.
On Saturday, Hannah Dreier — national reporter for the Post — criticized DeSantis in a tweet for not making a quicker request for FEMA assistance, delaying permission for federal aid “for a full day.”
“There’s a saying in emergency management: The first 24 hours are the only 24 hours,” Dreier wrote.
“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.”
Included was a screenshot from FEMA’s briefing with the sentence: “There have been no requests for state or FEMA assistance.”
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. pic.twitter.com/rVmCN47sQJ
— Hannah Dreier (@hannahdreier) June 26, 2021
Jared Moskowitz is the former director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. While appointed to that post by DeSantis, Florida Politics noted Moskowitz was a top candidate for FEMA director in the Biden administration. (New York City Emergency Management Department head Deanne Criswell would get the job instead, WJCT-FM reported.)
Moskowitz, a self-declared Biden voter who has defended DeSantis before, criticized Dreier for misleading her Twitter followers and branded the claim — using a favorite term of the president’s — “100% malarkey.”
“FEMA’s mantra is ‘locally executed, state managed, and federal supported,'” Moskowitz 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 [Urban Search and Rescue] 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
Moskowitz wasn’t the only one slamming Dreier’s tweet. Christina Pushaw, the press secretary for DeSantis, also said it was “missing important context” and that Dreier “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,” she tweeted Sunday.
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
Dreier’s accusations of slothful disaster reaction on the part of the DeSantis administration were briefly a talking point with Democrats, although that seems to have been abandoned by Saturday.
For instance, CNN’s Jeff Zeleny reported Friday morning that “[a]n official request for [FEMA] assistance must come from the governor’s office. Throughout the day on Thursday, that did not occur, which struck officials in the White House as unusual.”
Zeleny also noted that DeSantis’ office declared a state of emergency “late Thursday evening” and that the Biden administration announced federal assistance at 12:43 a.m. Friday. A later CNN report confirmed the first FEMA official on the scene, the FEMA state regional coordinator, arrived at roughly 3 a.m. Friday.
None of these reports, however, was able to attribute a lag in search-and-rescue efforts to DeSantis’ signing the executive order at 5:32 p.m. Moskowitz — arguably someone who could do a great deal for his employment prospects by trashing the Republican governor — said the locally placed Urban Search and Rescue units, which is what FEMA would be supporting in the first place, were already on the scene.
If there’s no one contradicting this, there’s no story.
As of Tuesday morning, according to the Miami Herald, 11 are known to have died in the condominium collapse and 150 are still missing.
Neither Hannah Dreier nor Jeff Zeleny — nor anyone else on the left — has been able to provide evidence that DeSantis hindered response efforts by signing an emergency declaration too slowly. That doesn’t mean Dreier will delete her tweet or offer a clarification, though:
Far-left Washington Post reporter still has not deleted this debunked lie. https://t.co/Zd7wvp0qHV
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 28, 2021
Hannah’s story… doesn’t appear to be accurate. So, no doubt, it’ll stay up and they’ll pretend otherwise. https://t.co/qZVloynsry
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) June 28, 2021
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. https://t.co/PHPXHv8Whg
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) June 27, 2021
It may be “100% Malarkey,” but don’t expect the “DeSantis delayed assistance” story to completely disappear from the mainstream media.
Given DeSantis’ status as a rising star in the Republican Party, it shouldn’t take too much effort to figure out why.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.