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by Sharon Rondeau

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, 49, was elected in November 2015 in a race against U.S. Senator from Louisiana David Vitter

(Aug. 21, 2016) — On Sunday, the Christian Science Monitor via Yahoo! News quoted Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) as having said that Republican president nominee Donald Trump’s visit on Friday to flood-ravaged parts of the state was “helpful” rather than a “distraction,” as Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton suggested a visit might be during the early recovery stages of record flooding in the area.

Before Trump’s visit, Edwards was quoted as having said, “We welcome him to Louisiana, but not for a photo-op. Instead we hope he’ll consider volunteering or making a sizable donation to the LA Flood Relief Fund to help the victims of the storm.”

If Edwards was aware, he did not divulge to the news outlet that Trump donated a tractor-trailer full of relief supplies for those who “lost everything” which was reportedly being unloaded as Trump and Pence toured a hard-hit area and comforted victims of the flooding on Friday.

The same day, CNN interviewed a local church leader who termed Trump’s donation “a significant investment in the community.”

Clinton’s response was to “encourage supporters on social media to donate to the rescue efforts.”

According to the Red Cross, Louisiana’s current flood-stricken condition is the “worst U.S. disaster since Hurricane Sandy” in 2012.  Livingston Parish and other areas been affected by “the worst flooding that this area has ever seen,” where flood waters have reached the second floors of many homes and destroyed personal belongings.

Rescuers have pulled people and pets from submerged cars in rivers bloated from more than two feet of rain which fell over five days.  While tens of thousands of lives have been saved, 13 have been lost.

Obama is scheduled to visit the area on Tuesday after facing criticism for continuing his Martha’s Vineyard summer vacation through Sunday evening.

According to CNN, singer Taylor Swift has donated $1 million to relief efforts.  Information on how and where to donate is here.

In August 2005, Louisiana was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, which displaced tens of thousands and caused billions of dollars in property damage.  At that time, President George W. Bush was highly criticized by many for flying over the destruction rather than making an immediate on-scene visit.

On Thursday, Edwards lauded the “federal partnership” which is coordinating relief activity and reportedly advised the White House to delay Obama’s visit until conditions on the ground improved.

According to The Advocate, Trump additionally donated $100,000 to a church led by Tony Perkins, who heads the Family Research Council and supported Ted Cruz in the Republican primaries.


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