Un­der-fire Obama fi­nally vis­its flood-hit Louisiana

The Myanmar Times - - World -

FRESH from a two-week hol­i­day, United States Pres­i­dent Barack Obama vis­ited flood-hit Louisiana yes­ter­day, hop­ing to of­fer sup­port to devastated com­mu­ni­ties and si­lence his crit­ics.

Mr Obama has been lam­pooned for not cut­ting short his Martha’s Vine­yard hol­i­day to visit the Gulf Coast state, where heavy rains have sub­merged thou­sands of homes.

Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump vis­ited flood-struck com­mu­ni­ties last week and goaded the pres­i­dent about his ab­sence.

“Hon­estly, Obama ought to get off the golf course and get down there,” Mr Trump said.

White House spokesper­son Josh Earnest de­fended the White House’s re­sponse as “ef­fec­tive” and bris­tled when asked if Mr Obama’s visit was prompted by Mr Trump: “Of course not,” he said.

“What the pres­i­dent’s been fo­cused on is the re­sponse on the ground and the peo­ple whose lives in Louisiana have been turned up­side­down by this ter­ri­ble flood­ing event,” Mr Earnest added.

The Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency re­ported that up to 79 cen­time­tres of rain fell on some parts of the low-lay­ing state – where the high­est point is just 165 me­tres above sea level.

Some 13 peo­ple have died and 86,000 have reg­is­tered for gov­ern­ment emer­gency as­sis­tance. –

Photo: AFP

Wanda Sit­tig wades through flood­wa­ters around her fa­ther’s home as she helps sal­vage what she can in St Amant, Louisiana, on Au­gust 20.

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