[IP] Hurricane Katrina Analysis – CFR Global Health Program

Hurricane Katrina Analysis
Laurie Garrett
Senior Fellow for Global Health
Council on Foreign Relations

7.) America, and this government, is going to witness an enormous
political backlash from these events, stemming primarily from the
African American community, if steps are not boldly taken to
demonstrate less judgment, and greater assistance, for the black poor
of the region. Cries of racism will be heard. In every disaster we
have been engaged in we have witnessed a similar sense by the victims
of disasters that they were being singled out, and ignored by their
government, because of their ethnicity, religion or race. The onus is
on government to prove them wrong.
8.) Much more thought needs to be given immediately to the needs
of medical and psychiatric responders located just outside of the
region. The patient flow they are now receiving is minuscule compared
to the tidal wave coming their way, whether they are in Baton Rouge,
Jacksonville or Houston. FEMA and HHS need to get a massive and
steady flow of supplies their way, and coordinate tertiary care needs
according to the skills base in each hospital. If it hasn’t already,
HRSA needs to issue clear waivers immediately for Medicaid coverage
for the poor, so that no hospital in the region, private or public,
has an excuse for turning people away.

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