James Molinaro, borough president of Staten Island, New York.
Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro angrily denounced the Red Cross response to Superstorm Sandy. "I have not seen the American Red Cross at a shelter. I have not seen them down south shore, where people are buried in their own homes, have nothing to drink, have nothing to eat. ... My advice to the people of Staten Island is: do not donate to the American Red Cross. Let them get their money elsewhere." [includes rush transcript]
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: During our time on Staten Island, we saw only one Red Cross vehicle. On Thursday, the Staten Island president, James Molinaro, openly criticized the Red Cross relief effort.
BOROUGH PRESIDENT JAMES MOLINARO: I’ve got to tell you, as the borough president of Staten Island, of a half-a-million people, I am disappointed at some of these not-for-profit organizations that collect lots and lots of money from Staten Islanders and didn’t respond, and one of them being this American Red Cross. I have not seen the American Red Cross at a shelter. I have not seen them down south shore, where people are buried in their own homes, have nothing to eat, have nothing to drink.
And yesterday, touring the south shore with the mayor, touring the south shore with the mayor, the neighbors down there that didn’t have electricity managed to put together pots of soup, and they were distributing it to the people down there whose homes were just destroyed. And the American Red Cross was nowhere to be found. So, all the American Red Cross, all these people making these big salaries, these big salaries, should be out there on the front line. And I am disappointed. And my advice to the people of Staten Island is: do not donate to the American Red Cross. Let them get their money elsewhere.
AMY GOODMAN: Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro. The Red Cross has since apologized for its slow response. Roger Lowe, a spokesman for the American Red Cross, said, quote, "Do we wish we could have been there sooner? You bet. When you have eight million people in need, with roads that are damaged, infrastructure broken down, flooding everywhere, we can’t be there that fast. And we feel bad about that." When we come back from break, we’re joined by three Democracy Now! — three people from the Democracy Now! team. So important to talk about who was there on the ground when the superstorm hit. Stay with us.
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