During a press conference on Staten Island Thursday morning, several local officials gathered to discuss the needs of the borough in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Molinaro called the organization an “absolute disgrace.”
Molinaro told NBC after the press conference that there has been a lack of response from the organization and that they should be “on the front lines fighting, and helping the people.” Molinaro went on to say:
“You know, I went to a shelter Monday night after the storm. People were coming in with no socks, with no shoes. They were in desperate need. Their housing was destroyed. They were crying. Where was the Red Cross? Isn’t that their function? They collect millions of dollars. Whenever there’s a drive in Staten Island, we give openly and honestly. Where are they?”
Several other officials agreed with Molinaro’s sentiments but did not specifically target the Red Cross. State Senator Andy Lanza criticized the city for not postponing the New York City Marathon this weekend, and the focus on getting water out of the East River tunnels. Lanza said:
“Let’s get the water out of the tunnel tomorrow, let’s get the people out of the water today. There’ve been thousands of people who have been displaced. There are people who are cold, who are hungry, who are without a place to go, and looking for warmth. There are people still trapped. Yet we’re talking about marathons and tunnels. I walked on the rooftop of a house yesterday, I stepped on it because the debris that surrounded it was level with the rooftop. That’s what happened here on Staten Island.”
Congressman Michael Grimm agreed, saying, “I think this is an example of what infuriates people here on Staten Island … We’re not back to normal and we’re not going to be back to normal for a long time.”
Do you agree that people should stop donating to the Red Cross because their lack of response in Staten Island?