Steve Scalise: Hurricane Katrina’s Lessons Apply to Coronavirus Outbreak

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AP Photo/Eric Gay

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) reflected on lessons learned by residents of New Orleans, LA, during Hurricane Katrina that apply to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, offering his recommendations on Monday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.

Scalise said, “The most important thing people can do is just be listening to their local leaders,” adding, “Listen to your local governors and mayors that are coming up with new protocols.”

“Everybody’s adjusting and it’s a new world, right now,” remarked Scalise. “Hopefully it doesn’t last long, but it’s going to last a few more weeks.

President Donald Trump is “continuing to show his leadership [by] bringing the right kind of people together, all the CEOs of all these companies that are going to be critical,” stated Scalise, listing companies such as CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart as among those coordinating with the White House to develop safety protocols during the coronavirus outbreak.

“Community sticking together” will allow Americans “to be able to get through this,” said Scalise, reflecting on cooperation he observed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Hurricane Katrina caused a “shutdown” of the entire city of New Orleans, recalled Scalise, noting that some communities within The Big Easy were closed off for even longer. “They still didn’t have power [for weeks],” he remembered. “They didn’t even have a grocery store to go to, and so that was a much more difficult situation, and yet the city New Orleans got through it.”


Overcoming adversity teaches lessons, noted Scalise.

“Again, you go back to New Orleans, for those first few weeks a lot of people weren’t sure if they were going to have a business to go back to, and yet by taking care of things, they were able to reopen again,” Scalise stated. “By and large, most of them were able to reopen and then come back stronger, because you learn through things like this.”

Scalise said, “For many people, this is the first time — and hopefully the only time — they’re going to experience something like this. You’ve got to keep your head. You’ve got to listen to your local officials. Give input, or ask questions to people you trust … but ultimately make sure that you’re not making the situation worse, and then you will get through it.”

Americans must remember to consider others during crisis, urged Scalise.

“Make sure you have food for your family, but not too much,” advised Scalise. “A lot of people are buying a lot of meats [and] a lot of other things. They maybe [don’t] have the ability to store it all for long periods of time, either. You don’t want to just overbuy. You want to make sure that you have enough for your family.”

“Many people already have a lifetime supply of toilet paper,” quipped Scalise, “so  just be the cognizant that you’re not the only one going through it, and make sure that everybody else is going to be able to take care of their business, too.”

Marlow asked what Congress is doing to assist those experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus.

Scalise replied, “Last week, the House passed a bill that provides basic relief for people. For example, the biggest component will probably be the piece for people that aren’t feeling well, or want to stay home, or maybe have to stay home, because their business isn’t open like it was.”

Scalise continued, “[We’re] going to make sure … those people get paid. The Small Business Administration — while it wasn’t a direct part of this package, the president’s talked about the importance of SBA loans being available for people. So if you have a small business and you’re struggling, you might want to be getting in touch with your local small business administration officials to see what’s available.”

Scalise highlighted the Federal Reserve’s announcement on Sunday that it would reduce interest rates to nearly zero and buy billions of dollars in bonds in an effort to buoy economy amid harm wrought by the coronavirus outbreak.

“Banks are going to be able to have a greater ability to lend money to people,” said Scalise, advising those experiencing cash shortages to speak to their local banks. “Those things are being more available.”

Breitbart News Daily broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

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