Vice President Kamala Harris was confronted over the weekend in response to controversial racial remarks that she made late last week about distributing aid related to natural disasters.
Speaking Friday afternoon in Washington, D.C., to leftist Priyanka Chopra at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum, Harris claimed, “It is our lowest income communities and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions and impacted by issues that are not of their own making.”
Harris’ remarks come after Florida was battered late last week by Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful Category 4 hurricanes to ever hit the U.S.
“And so we have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity, understanding not everyone starts out at the same place,” Harris continued. “And if we want people to be in an equal place, sometimes we have to take into account those disparities and do that work.”
White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates later said the vice president’s comments related to a general Biden administration policy of distributing “climate resilience” resources around the country.
The Republican National Committee’s Research channel tweeted out a video of Harris being confronted Saturday evening about her remarks when she attended the Phoenix Awards Dinner at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
A man asked Harris, “Vice President, can you clarify what you meant about equity for hurricane relief?”
Harris looked right at the man as he asked the question and then looked away and kept walking.
"Can you clarify what you meant about ‘equity’ for hurricane relief?"
Kamala Harris refuses to answer. pic.twitter.com/abTJcjkJoJ
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 3, 2022
Christina Pushaw, Director of Rapid Response for DeSantis’ re-election campaign, called out the Vice President last week after Harris made the remarks, writing on Twitter: “This is false.”
“@VP’s rhetoric is causing undue panic and must be clarified,” Pushaw tweeted. “FEMA Individual Assistance is already available to all Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, regardless of race or background. If you need assistance visit disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.”
FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said during a Sunday interview on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that the federal programs assisted everyone.
“[O]ur programs support everybody,” Criswell told host Margaret Brennan. “I would say I believe some of the things the vice president was talking about are the long-term recovery and rebuilding these communities to be able to withstand disasters, so they can have less impact. We’re going to support all communities. I committed that to (Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis), I commit to you right here that all Floridians are going to be able to get the help that is available to them through our programs.”
This article has been updated to clarify the Biden administration policy regarding aid related to natural disasters.