Washington Post reporter Hannah Dreier published a series of misleading tweets over the weekend accusing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis of fumbling the state’s response to the recent building collapse in the town of Surfside.
On Saturday, Dreier posted a screenshot of FEMA’s response to the recent building collapse, claiming that it took DeSantis a full 24 hours to approve any form of emergency assistance for the affected area.
“There’s a saying in emergency management: The first 24 hours are the only 24 hours,” Dreier stated. “FEMA was ready to deploy to the condo collapse almost immediately, and included the crisis in its daily briefing, but didn’t get permission from Gov. DeSantis to get on the ground for a full day.”
There's a saying in emergency management: The first 24 hours are the only 24 hours.
FEMA was ready to deploy to the condo collapse almost immediately, and included the crisis in its daily briefing, but didn't get permission from Gov. DeSantis to get on the ground for a full day. pic.twitter.com/rVmCN47sQJ
— Hannah Dreier (@hannahdreier) June 26, 2021
According to FEMA’s National Incident Management System, requests for emergency assistance are to be made by local officials to state officials, who then contact federal officials for assistance.
On Sunday, DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw took to Twitter to respond to the accusations, stating that Dreier left out critical information from her tweets. Moreover, Pushaw added that Dreier did not make an attempt to contact her or DeSantis for comment on the matter.
“This is missing important context, @hannahdreier never asked me for comment,” said Pushaw. “emergency response started within minutes of the disaster led by Miami Dade County, amazing first responders. county mayor signed local emergency [delclaration] 4:40 & @GovRonDeSantis signed eo less than 1hr later.”
This is missing important context, @hannahdreier never asked me for comment. emergency response started within minutes of the disaster led by Miami Dade County, amazing first responders. county mayor signed local emergency dec 4:40 & @GovRonDeSantis signed eo less than 1hr later https://t.co/3YkkumZDCC
— Christina Pushaw (@ChristinaPushaw) June 27, 2021
In a tweet that followed, Pushaw posted the official emergency declaration signed by Miami Dade County Mayor Danielle Levine Cava. Time-stamped at 4:33 p.m. ET on June 24, the declaration was signed more than 12 hours after the initial collapse of the building. Less than an hour later, DeSantis signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency for Miami Dade at 5:32 p.m. ET.
When asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd about the state’s response to the disaster, Cava, a Democrat, took the time to dismiss claims that her city has had any problems in acquiring emergency assistance.
“We are very grateful, not only the state of Florida has been here in force […] we’ve not lacked for any support,” she said.
The DC media is suggesting @GovRonDeSantis failed to provide resources to Surfside.
The mayor of Miami-Dade, a Democrat, was asked about this on Meet The Press and said it's not true:
— Giancarlo Sopo (@GiancarloSopo) June 27, 2021
Recent statements from the White House also invalidate Drier’s claims, with a call readout between President Joe Biden and DeSantis making clear that FEMA had been in close contact with Florida officials since the building’s collapse.
“The White House and FEMA have been in close coordination with local officials throughout the past two days,” the June 25 statement read. “The White House is continuing to monitor the situation, and the President will continue to receive regular updates from his Homeland Security team.”
Drier has yet to issue a correction on the matter.