Governor DeSantis Calls for Greater Assistance for Florida Tornado Recovery


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday called on President Joe Biden and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to change their decision to deny the state’s Individual Assistance request.

The governor’s comments followed meetings with Florida Division of Emergency Management Director (FDEM) Kevin Guthrie and victims of tornadoes that impacted the state.

“Floridians shouldn’t be punished for a disaster that was outside their control because of White House politics,” said Governor DeSantis. “The scope of devastation in these communities makes it clear that survivors need additional assistance and I’m urging the Biden administration to reconsider its decision. The State of Florida stands with the residents of Charlotte and Lee counties and will work hard to secure all forms of disaster assistance.”

The governor’s office detailed that the majority of residents were elderly individuals, as roughly 84 percent of them receive income from Social Security.

According to a letter obtained by The Fort Myers News-Press, the federal government denied the request because the “event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments and voluntary agencies”

After the decision, DeSantis pledged to appeal the ruling and has issued an emergency declaration for the region.

“In seconds and minutes, their lives were turned upside down. To say it was devastating is an understatement,” said Lee County Sherriff Carmine Marceno. “Talk about the Biden administration and their continuous failures. We have seen them fail on the international level, the national level and now the state and unfortunately the local level. The governor said it right, it’s about being a human being and doing what is right, and thank God for our great governor that stands for just that.”

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]

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