Things that make me want to pull my hair out:
- Michael Chertoff, our Director of Homeland Security, stated today
that the disaster along the Gulf Coast is “breathtaking in its
surprise” and that its occurrence was “not reasonably forseeable”. (You
can listen to the second quote yourself.) He claimed outright that the hurricane and the levy breaches were two entirely separate and unrelated catastrophes,
and then used that to explain why we weren't prepared for the
aftermath. (In that recording snippet, he even panders a bit by
offhandedly stating that we weren't prepared for an atomic bomb,
either.) A few media outlets, CNN included,
immediately called him on the claim, but unfortunately it doesn't seem
like anyone did so during the interview. I really can't believe that
there are still excuses coming out of the mouths of cabinet-level
officials on this.
- Mike Brown, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has no prior disaster management experience and was forced to resign from his last job for “supervision failures”.
- In contrast to the amazing response on the part of the American Association of Law Schools, the American Association of Medical Schools and the American Council for Graduate Medical Education
seem to be totally stuck in the “it's too early to figure out how we
can help” stage. It just might be time for medical schools and
residency programs just to offer up assistance, and then figure out how
to make it work later.
Things that make me happy:
- My old hometown in Texas, San Antonio, is warming my heart by doing a hell of a job welcoming refugees — between busloads of people arriving at Kelly CityBase and planeloads of people arriving at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio expects to house more than 25,000 people displaced by Katrina.
- Through Friday morning, the Red Cross estimates it had raised almost $200 million dollars to go to Katrina-related disaster relief, and has done an amazing job feeding, clothing, and giving shelter to the people hit hardest.
- Even up here in Boston, people are offering up help; I learned
today that my hospital is in the pool of places willing to provide any
needed specialty and critical care beds for children who are evacuated
from the Gulf coast.