The FasterCures Airlift from New Orleans
What was I saying about needing a can-do President?
And, just to pull something out of the play-by-play (the FasterCures article),
At this point Catherine Berger pulled up a story from the DOD saying they had two medical teams evacuating people from the hospitals and the airport and that the ship COMFORT was sailing to New Orleans from Baltimore. That did not sound like it was going to help that many people for at least another day or two. We carried on. (As it happens, the COMFORT never reached New Orleans).
Why didn't the Comfort reach New Orleans?
We were now desperate to find a contact on the ground at the New Orleans airport to help triage ambulatory medical patients into these planes. FEMA in Washington was non responsive. We spoke to the aide to one of the deputies at FEMA and was told they did not need or want our help since the hospital evacuation was going fine. We looked at the reports from CNN about the conditions at the field hospital at the airport and discounted that opinion immediately. [Emphasis added -- sid]
...Gore said that on the second trip to New Orleans, the doctors at the airport told him that the evacuation of the first 90 ambulatory patients had been the tipping point in their ability to adequately care for the other bedridden patients. They also noted that the military evacuations did not really pick up steam until after we “motivated” them with our private effort.
Throughout the entire operation in Tennessee, EMS operations in Chicago had stayed prepared to handle patients or evacuees. None ever arrived because the military did not want us to use Chicago. The volunteers in Chicago were amazing in their desire to help. Mayor Daly had been rebuffed earlier when he offered a complete mobile hospital unit for the airport and a tent city as well. Sen. Barack Obama called Gore and asked how had Gore managed to land in New Orleans when the Senator had been refused landing rights to help.
None of the airlines involved required a contract or any written guarantee of payment before sending their planes and volunteer crews – the first time Steve Davison had ever witnessed that in 15 years of chartering planes for political campaigns and other events. One official said if Gore promised to pay, that was good enough for them.
I know who the real Americans are in this story.