GOP Governor Rick Scott of Florida excoriated the Obama administration Monday for refusing a request for an emergency declaration after the terror attack in Orlando, which effectively deprives victims of $5 million in aid.
After the terror attack took place last week at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Scott called on the Obama administration for an emergency declaration under the Stafford Act for $5 million to help support emergency medical care and supply additional resources to law enforcement.
That request has been denied, though the administration has sent over $253,000 to cover first responders who worked overtime during the crisis.
“It is incredibly disappointing that the Obama Administration denied our request for an Emergency Declaration,” Scott said in a press release. “Last week, a terrorist killed 49 people, and wounded many others, which was the deadliest shooting in U.S. history. It is unthinkable that President Obama does not define this as an emergency. We are committing every state resource possible to help the victims and the community heal and we expect the same from the federal government.”
The Obama administration saw fit to the deny the request for funds, but it has approved other emergency declarations in the past, namely the Massachusetts water main break in 2010, the Boston marathon bombing in 2013 and the Flint water crisis in 2016.
“Because your request did not demonstrate how the emergency response associated with this situation is beyond the capability of the State and affected local governments or identify any direct federal assistance needed to save lives or protect property, an emergency declaration is not appropriate for this incident,” Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator William Craig Fugate wrote in response Scott’s request.
Scott noted in his letter that President Barack Obama had characterized the Orlando terror attack as a “horrific massacre.”
The Obama administration has suffered major criticism for its handling of the situation in Florida, in which Omar Mateen, a terrorist who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, killed 50 people, himself included, and injured 53 others.
Specifically, after major criticism from Congress and the public, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released the full transcript of Mateen’s 911 call, which indicates clearly that Mateen pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS.
A previous version of the transcript omitted these allegiances. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that the omission was designed as “not to revictimize those who went through that horror.”
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