Within the wake of the hearth that devastated the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the White Home introduced Tuesday that it could supply “help within the rehabilitation of this irreplaceable image of Western civilization” — regardless of the Trump administration’s determination to show a blind eye to different restoration wants in america.
Whereas President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had been fast to supply considerate concern to France after the hearth, neither has a lot as talked about the three black church buildings in Louisiana that had been lately destroyed by arson, because the Washington Publish’s Eugene Scott famous.
In truth, the administration has habitually downplayed the severity of home tragedies and even threatened to withhold restoration assist.
When wildfires ravaged California final fall, for instance, Trump claimed that the fires solely occurred as a result of the state’s “forest administration is so poor.” He warned that if this “gross mismanagement” weren’t remedied, there can be “no extra Fed funds!” Trump later claimed that the forests can be safer if their flooring had been correctly raked, a weird declare for which he was broadly mocked.
Trump has additionally been very sluggish to launch federal funding to communities in want. The town of Flint, Michigan, has not had entry to scrub ingesting water since 2014 on account of lead contamination. In 2016, President Barack Obama signed the Water Infrastructure Enhancements for the Nation Act, and the Environmental Safety Company subsequently awarded a $120 million grant to Michigan to restore Flint’s water methods. However it wasn’t till simply this week, nicely over two years after the funding was designated, that Flint obtained the majority of the federal funds — $77.7 million. Nestlé has agreed to increase its donations of free bottled water to town by means of August.
Puerto Rico catastrophe reduction following the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Maria has additionally continued to stall due to Trump’s obstruction, and the battle has spilled over into Congress. Earlier this month, Senate Democrats rejected a Republican proposal that might have stripped vital funding to Puerto Rico that Home Democrats had authorized. Republican lawmakers had been catering to Trump, who falsely claimed that Puerto Rico had already obtained $91 billion in hurricane reduction funding. In actuality, solely $41 billion has been allotted, and the territory has solely obtained about $10 billion in whole. A bipartisan group of lawmakers has pushed to research whether or not the administration has deliberately dragged its ft to dam a lot of this funding from being dispersed.
Particular disasters apart, the Trump administration has additionally made a behavior of taking funding away from applications that assist the nation’s most susceptible in an effort to fund its anti-immigrant household separation insurance policies. Over the previous yr, it has diverted thousands and thousands of away from applications like Head Begin, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, and the Nationwide Most cancers Institute to fund cages for kids on the border.
The Trump administration’s home funding choices have deprioritized individuals of shade. In the meantime, in her assertion, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described Notre Dame as an “irreplaceable image of Western civilization.” This rhetoric feeds into conspiracy theories unfold this week by white nationalists and different extremists who declare that the cathedral was focused for arson by non-“western” people.
To date, greater than $1 billion has been raised worldwide to assist rebuild Notre Dame. The giving has spilled over into rising assist for the Louisiana church buildings, with the now-viral crowdfunding marketing campaign elevating greater than $1 million on the time of publication Tuesday — however that’s despite silence from Trump.