Dear President Bush,
I suggest you run a “setting the record straight” piece on the fine job shown in your White House Lessons Learned Report. One particular blogger is casting aspersions on the quality of the report, especially in the area of evacuation of hospital and nursing home patients. This seems worthy of a retort, similar to ones your press team has conducted in the past when setting the record straight. You recently said:
"The lessons of Katrina are important," Bush said. "We've learned a lot here at the federal level. We're much more ready this time than we were the last time." "Let's, first of all, pray there's no hurricanes," Bush said. "That would be, like, step one."
The people might need to know more than just step one. A “setting the record straight” piece would be timely as hospitals and nursing homes prepare to roll out their hurricane plans. In the declaration, the White House could show its work to date by highlighting the federal role in pre and post storm patient evacuations. When would it kick in, with what resources, and how would it commence?
In “setting the record straight” several challenges remain. You will have a problem refuting the report’s complete omission of LifeCare and Tenet, two healthcare companies that together lost over 40 patients post Katrina. And how you will set the record straight about the Carlyle Group’s ownership of LifeCare and your Dad’s past work for Carlyle?
Will you resort to your usual tactics and smear the persistent blogger? After all, he is a well know partisan hack as is anyone who criticizes your administration. Just to be sure, you’d better check that intelligence. My sources show he personally experienced a powerless river flooded teaching hospital in the Blue Ridge Mountains and evacuated a Texas Gulf Coast hospital prior to a record setting hurricane. Those same sources say he is an independent voter. That he has a penchant for writing you certainly could make him suspect.
By the way, CNN ran a report on inadequate hurricane planning just yesterday. It suggested prayer may still be all some people have….. Better get to work!