(NewsNation) — Coordination between the White House and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ staff on hurricane response has gone pretty smoothly.
Thus far, DeSantis and the Biden administration had managed to press pause on politics, pushing personal feelings aside and working together to get Florida the help it needs on the long road to recovery following Hurricane Ian.
But Saturday morning, DeSantis’ team pushed back on comments Vice President Kamala Harris made about hurricane aid.
During a DNC women’s leadership forum, the vice president seemed to suggest race and income may be a factor when it came to deciding where aid and resources would go, and which areas impacted by natural disasters generally would be prioritized.
“It is our lowest-income communities, and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions, and impacted by issues that are not of their own making,” Harris said. “And so we have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity. Understanding that we fight for equality, but we also have to fight for equity.”
The vice president’s remarks prompted some anger and backlash within Governor DeSantis’ office.
His rapid response director, Christina Pushaw, tweeted, “This is false. @VP‘s rhetoric is causing undue panic and must be clarified. FEMA Individual Assistance is already available to all Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, regardless of race or background.”
Elon Musk, who has recently inserted himself into political back and forths on Twitter, agreed, saying, “Should be according to greatest need, not race or anything else”
It is important to note, the question the vice president was asked was not exclusively about Hurricane Ian. She was asked about climate change as a whole and was asked specifically about how it affects poorer countries.
Here’s the end of the question, in proper context:
Priyanka Chopra’s question to VP Harris: “… The global implications of emissions, the poorest countries are affected the most, they contribute the least…So how should voters in the US feel about the administration’s long-term goals when it comes to being an international influencer on this topic?”
The question is not necessarily focused on Hurricane Ian. However, Harris’ remarks prompted calls from DeSantis’ office for the VP to clarify.