Date: September 12, 2017
WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke affirmed the Trump administration's commitment to the U.S. territories affected by Hurricane Irma, as he discussed the ongoing Hurricane Irma relief efforts. Secretary Zinke appeared on Fox News multiple times yesterday, speaking about how the Department of the Interior is actively moving to address the situation in the territories of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Steve Doocy: “Joining us right now with more is U.S. Secretary of the Interior, and retired Navy Seal Commander, Ryan Zinke. Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for joining us. I’m sure this [Hurricane Irma] was one of the big topics on the table at Camp David, when the President convened his Cabinet there over the weekend.”
Secretary Zinke: “Well, that was a big topic, and 'Leave No Neighborhood Behind.' We have devastation starting with the territories. The Virgin Islands got especially hit. And listening earlier about the power, this is likely a rebuild. We’re not sure that we can repair the power grid in the Virgin Islands. Of course today, we will look at the assessment of the Keys as it goes up. Fortunately, it looks like Tampa and the upper part of Florida was not hit as hard as we thought. But, certainly, the President’s focus is 'Leave No Neighborhood Behind.' And let's not forget about the forest fires out west. Still a lot of communities are under threat. Very few fires are contained to the point where we can keep our eye off the ball.”
Brian Kilmeade: “We see that you're going to be rushing $221 million to the U.S. Virgin Islands, because a lot of them they were saying over the weekend they feel kind of ignored, but that’s going to change once you get them that money as well as Puerto Rico.”
Secretary Zinke: “You have Hurricane Harvey, which is now moving into recovery. You have Irma, and don’t forget about the fires out West... Hurricane Irma was not as bad in some places as predicted, but certainly in the Virgin Islands, the territories, which the Department of the Interior oversees, devastating damage to the point where even the power system may not be able to be repaired, it may have to be re-built. Certainly we have surface vessels on their way, we sent a team from HHS.”
Lou Dobbs: “When you say, 'surface vessels,' you should be clear about this. I mean, this is an unprecedented act on the part of any administration to engage the U.S. Navy in support of those who are victimized by the storm, who are hit by the storm, to try to restore quickly power and supplies, and try to build a quick path to normalcy.”
Secretary Zinke: “Well certainly this President is focused on the hurricanes and fires. He brought his Cabinet together, and the guidance was crystal clear. Get to yes, forward lean, put the forces and with what they need on the front lines, and get the Governors every bit of assistance they need.”