FEMA workers must be arrested!They did not ’Fail’, they intentionally withheld lifesaving supplies!
by : BOB HERBERT
Thursday September 15, 2005 - 22:41
"To me, it was like being in hell," said Carl Warner, the chief engineer for Methodist Hospital in the hard-hit eastern part of New Orleans. "There were bodies floating in the water outside the building, and our staffers had to swim through that water to get fuel for the generator."
The patients and staff at Methodist could have been evacuated before Hurricane Katrina hit. But instead they were condemned to several days of fear and agony by bad decision-making in Louisiana and the chaotic ineptitude of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Some of the patients died.
Incredibly, when the out-of-state corporate owners of the hospital responded to the flooding by sending emergency relief supplies, they were confiscated at the airport by FEMA and sent elsewhere.
The time to evacuate the hospital was when it became clear that New Orleans was in the path of a Category 4 or 5 hurricane. "We had about 137 patients," said Dr. Jeffrey Coco, the hospital’s chief of staff, "and we had a company called Lifeguard that was going to take them out."
But apparently there was a reluctance to evacuate without some sort of governmental guidance. When the mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, issued a mandatory evacuation order, hospitals were exempted. Dr. Fred Cerise, secretary of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals, said Methodist officials could have decided on their own to evacuate, but that never happened.
Some of the patients were extremely ill, requiring ventilators or dialysis treatment or major surgery. When the hurricane hit, part of the roof blew off, windows were blown out, the atrium was badly damaged and the hospital was drenched with rain. On Monday night the power went out, and on Tuesday, after the levees broke, the first floor became hopelessly flooded.
By midweek you had a bizarre situation in which hundreds of people (patients, doctors, nurses, administrative staffers, relatives and people seeking emergency shelter) were stranded, cut off from the rest of the world, in a badly damaged hospital in a major American city.
Staffers with flashlights worked heroically in a sodden, stench-filled environment in which temperatures reached 110 degrees. Elevators did not work, and some patients weighing more than 400 pounds had to be carried up dark, reeking staircases. When ventilators shut down with the loss of power, volunteers worked in shifts to do the difficult hand-pumping necessary to keep patients alive.
Nevertheless, according to Dr. Albert Barrocas, the chief medical officer, the decline in the well-being of the patients was both palpable and widespread. "All of them were deteriorating in the sense of becoming weak," he said. "You could see in their faces the fact that they were scared."
By Tuesday evening four patients had died, and a dozen were dead by the time the hospital was finally evacuated Friday. Doctors believe half of the deaths were caused by the dreadful conditions in the hospital.
Everybody’s suffering would have been eased if the emergency relief effort mounted by the hospital’s owner, Universal Health Services in King of Prussia, Pa., had not been interfered with by FEMA. Company officials sent desperately needed water, food, diesel fuel to power the hospital’s generators and helicopters to ferry in the supplies and evacuate the most vulnerable individuals.
Bruce Gilbert, Universal’s general counsel, told me yesterday, "Those supplies were in fact taken from us by FEMA, and we were unable to get them to the hospital. We then determined that it would be better to send our supplies, food and water to Lafayette [130 miles from New Orleans] and have our helicopters fly them from Lafayette to the hospital."
Significant relief began to reach the hospital on Thursday, and by Friday evening everyone had been removed from the ruined premises. They had endured the agonies of the damned, and for all practical purposes had been abandoned by government at all levels.
When you consider that the Methodist Hospital experience was just one small part of the New Orleans catastrophe, you get a sense of the size of the societal failure that we allowed to happen.
Welcome to the United States in 2005.
FEMA has committed crimes against humanity-they must be held accountable! read more
UPDATE: Get somebody with a history, not an opportunist
Wednesday 29 - 06:38by Timbre Wolf
Between the democracy and the war, there is Recep Tayyip Erdogan…
Tuesday 28 - 20:58by laurentgantner
Luanda Poised to Take Its Place on the World Stage
Monday 27 - 22:51
Saturday 25 - 00:05by Timbre Wolf
Grexit, first Act
Friday 24 - 13:09by Raffaele Sciortino
Europe’s Impossible Dream
Tuesday 21 - 16:58by Paul Krugman
"The Streets Of Athens Will Fill With Tanks"
Tuesday 21 - 16:44by Tyler Durden
Judah Ben-Hur for US President 2016
Tuesday 21 - 15:37
Who is Flavio Becca? The bricklayer who is about to crash
Monday 20 - 15:04
SCOTT WALKER: SATAN’S CANDIDATE
Sunday 19 - 02:21by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
Greece, austerity and the questions to pose
Friday 17 - 22:34by InfoAut
Tomorrow (on Saturday) it will stay 48 hours in Alexeï Tsipras To create the BMG
Friday 17 - 17:03by laurentgantner
Meet Leonid Sedov, the young lawyer behind Ukraine’s corruption
Thursday 16 - 19:27by Oleg Karpov
Maka Angola and Rafael Marques should have nothing to hide from Angola’s NGO ref
Saturday 11 - 17:22by Celia Perron
Greece will enter maybe finally the European Union this weekend …
Friday 10 - 22:32by laurentgantner
Get to Know Mirco de Jesus Martins
Thursday 9 - 23:40by FergusTes
Oxi Means NO... or at least it should
Sunday 5 - 22:26by Daniel Patrick Welch
Sunday 5 - 13:06by Roberto Ferrario
The Greek Tragedy. The Antigones against Creon
Saturday 4 - 10:37by InformationGuerrilla
Friday 3 - 15:26by Government Snitch
Greece - The Time of Refusal
Thursday 2 - 17:05by InfoAut
Valle de San Quintín labourers: a reflection of shame and demands for justice
Monday 29 - 21:16by Guillermo Castillo Ramírez
Civil unrest in America is due
Saturday 27 - 16:31by Willam Morgan
The Doha Goals Forum against discriminations
Friday 26 - 23:29by Pierce Durdan
The Evolution of Revolution
Thursday 25 - 17:06by Timbre Wolf
Young Entrepreneurs Doing Sustainable Business in Angola
Tuesday 23 - 17:26by Enrique Ramires
Taxation Without Representation—Déjà vu
Sunday 7 - 18:15by William John Cox
The specter of 1968 in Baltimore
Sunday 7 - 12:18by YOUSUF AL-BULUSHI
Regional Elections in Italy mark a stop for Renzi’s neoliberal project
Sunday 7 - 11:05by InfoAut
. . . And this leads us to the corporation’s “Most Threatening Man.”
Sunday 7 - 03:10by Timbre Wolf
How Mirco de Jesus Martins Plans to Help Angola
Thursday 4 - 22:52by Fred Gatling
TSA can steal my frying pan but they can’t find your goddamn bomb.
Tuesday 2 - 09:32by Timbre Wolf
Solidarity w/ Goldsmiths Students’ Union Officer Facing Persecution
Sunday 31 - 19:00by I.W.W. - Departments and Unions
Why Are Exchange-Traded Funds Preparing For A ‘Liquidity Crisis’ ....
Friday 15 - 16:25by Michael Snyder
Multiple and inter-dependent struggles for a Europe of communards
Thursday 7 - 14:58by Common Political Space (Italian social centers)
The Power and Symbolism of Voting
Thursday 7 - 13:30by William John Cox
Not everyone likes Expo
Monday 4 - 11:13by InfoAut
A Terrible Beauty
Thursday 30 - 23:34by Daniel Patrick Welch
Portuguese bank shares spike in wake of Dos Santos’s proposed merger
Wednesday 29 - 23:10by John Serra
From Blockupy to No Expo
Wednesday 29 - 21:44by The Commune of Europe