New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman was attacked on Twitter for appearing to blame Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., among other Florida officials for the death toll in Lee County after Hurricane Ian.
Haberman retweeted a New York Times report from Friday that linked Florida officials, including the governor, to the “delayed” evacuation in Lee County one day before the hurricane made landfall in the state.
“We have been investigating the delayed evacuations in Lee County, where Hurricane Ian’s death toll is at 16 rising. Gov. DeSantis and local leaders said that officials acted swiftly in response to forecasts. But there is much more to the story…” NYT correspondent Mike Baker tweeted in a thread.
Haberman retweeted the thread Sunday writing, “A delayed evacuation, and a massive death toll.”
FLORIDA SHERIFF DEFENDS LEE COUNTY’S EVACUATION PLAN, PREP FOR HURRICANE IAN: ‘WE WOULDN’T CHANGE ANYTHING’
Social media users called out Haberman as well as the New York Times for blaming DeSantis and Lee County officials for massive damage sustained from the storm.
“It wasn’t ‘delayed’ – they called for evacuations in the Tampa area, based on meteorological projections of landfall in that area. Question – why did all the media flock to Tampa?” Townhall.com columnist Brad Slager tweeted.
Podcast host Gerry Callahan wrote, “And just like that, the mainstream media has their narrative. DeSantis dragged his feet, killed a ‘massive’ amount of people. Good luck with that.”
“This is a really bad take. I’ve lived through countless hurricanes in my life, and their paths are very unpredictable. Their intensity is also often way more/way less than anticipated. (Side note: while ANY loss of life is heartbreaking, nearly 2,000 people died in Katrina.),” The Lafayette Co. president Ellen Carmichael tweeted.
“Warned my students last week that media would be making an attempt to ‘Katrina’ Ron DeSantis … curious how much they’ll put into this and how it will work out,” The Federalist editor-in-chief Mollie Hemingway wrote.
Tablet Magazine’s Noam Blum commented, “So you wanted DeSantis to draw an extra line on the hurricane track map?”
Townhall.com columnist Philip Holloway joked, “Maggie would have ordered the evacuation of Lee County, Florida six weeks prior to #HurricaneIan evidently…. despite all the forecasts saying it was about to hit Tampa. She would have also made sure Ian was only a tropical storm and not a massive Category 4 storm.”
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DeSantis previously called out a CNN reporter’s attempt to question him and officials for defending Lee County’s hesitation to issue a mandatory evacuation order before Hurricane Ian’s track shifted away from Tampa.
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“Well, where was your industry stationed when the storm hit?” DeSantis said in response to the CNN reporter. “Were you guys in Lee County? No, you were in Tampa.”
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