Letter: Why the delay, Gov. McDonnell?
Why is Governor McDonnell all of a sudden acting and speaking as if he is shocked and outraged that FEMA turned Virginia down for federal aid?
I’m wondering why Governor McDonnell waited over two weeks to apply for federal disaster designation or aid from FEMA. Why wasn’t the request submitted immediately after the disaster? The tornado occurred on April 16; the governor was in Gloucester on April 18 and said he would request the federal disaster designation. Why did he wait until May 2 to apply?
Also, why was the tornado that occurred in Gloucester, Mathews, James City lumped in with other areas as an April 8 through 28 series of disasters? Why didn’t each community warrant the individual request? What was he doing for two weeks, trying to decide if our community warranted the request?
Frankly, by the many statements Governor McDonnell has made regarding the need for non-profit organizations, churches and the community to pitch in and help, I believe his inaction regarding this issue has more to do with his ideology.
Of course, the community has pitched in. Of course, neighbors help neighbors. That is not the issue. I don’t think the governor deemed it serious enough to act in a timely manner. I am offended that he decided for the citizens in my community that suffered severe damage that this situation wasn’t worth his immediate attention.
I believe that Governor McDonnell is happy that the FEMA designation was denied so he can allow the local folks to believe that the federal government does little to help the people. I believe that it is the responsibility of the governor to let the people know exactly what FEMA does and that is to help those without insurance or that are underinsured. To act as if he was surprised that he was turned down after waiting over two weeks to apply is disingenuous on his part.
The governor of North Carolina submitted a request for FEMA aid within 48 hours after the communities in North Carolina suffered such severe damage. That is the way things are supposed to be handled.
In many ways, I think the anger that citizens feel toward FEMA for being turned down for aid may be directed at the wrong people. If your own governor didn’t think the situation was serious enough to request the aid immediately, what is FEMA supposed to think?
And then he trivialized the destruction, death and injuries by grouping a bunch of communities together in a request for federal disaster designation. Also, exactly what has the governor done regarding offering state aid to the victims and the communities that were so severely devastated?
I know Governor McDonnell prefers that people help themselves, but he really could have come through for the citizens of Virginia in a much better way.