Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) this weekend fired back at reports that the U.S. military had stopped flying critically ill Haitian earthquake victims to his state.
While The New York Times and other media outlets reported this weekend military leaders had suspended those flights last week, Crist told ABC’s “Good Morning America Weekend” that it was his “understanding” that those transports actually continued. The governor later added he did not have “authority to stop military flights, nor would we want to,” even if the news were true.
“So, it’s all hands on deck here in the Sunshine State,” Crist continued. “We’re welcoming Haitians with open arms and probably done more than any other state and happy to continue to do so.”
Fueling confusion this weekend seems to be a letter Crist wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services last Wednesday. In it, he asked Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to activate the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) — a program that would distribute “medically ill patients to other states and ensure states are appropriately reimbursed for their services,” he explained in the letter.
Crist at the time stressed the NDMS declaration was essential, given the immense financial pressure the Haitian relief had imposed on his state. He later told ABC that Florida has so far shouldered about $7.1 million of the relief burden, and that hospitals were slowly nearing their capacity.
Crist is doing the right thing by asking for the National Disaster Medical System to be activated……
Update……..Florida Governor Crist appears to be wrong……the flight’s where stopped for 5 days because of logistical problems?……Anyways….they will be resuming shortly.…. Within 12 hours………….