Monday, March 03, 2008

thanks but no thanks

I saw this article in the newspaper this weekend and it sent a chill through my spine:
The Ute Indian Tribe will soon move more than a dozen Federal Emergency Management Administration trailers from Texas and Arkansas to the Fort Duchesne area to help ease the housing crunch on the Uintah-Ouray Reservation.
[...]
Late last year the federal government announced that 1,000 FEMA trailers would be available to Indian tribes throughout the United States. The trailers were originally made available to families displaced two years ago when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. Not all of the trailers were used for that purpose.
Remember the blankets given to Native Americans that someone who died of smallpox was once wrapped in?
le the Federal Emergency Management Agency rushes to move thousands of Gulf Coast storm victims out of government-issued trailers, scientists are tearing the units apart to learn why many have exposed occupants to dangerous levels of formaldehyde fumes.
[...]
Test results reported this week by the CDC showed formaldehyde levels in hundreds of FEMA trailers and mobile homes were, on average, about five times higher than what people are exposed to in most modern homes. Formaldehyde, a preservative commonly used in construction materials, can cause breathing problems and is believed to cause cancer.
That's why I am worried this is going to be a 21-century smallpox blanket, even if I see this:
The trailers must still be tested before they will be officially released to the tribe, [Tribal Business Committee Chairman Curtis Cesspooch] said.
[...]
Cesspooch said the trailers given to Indian tribes are not part of a group of FEMA trailers that were reportedly contaminated with high levels of formaldehyde.
Remember, FEMA bought these suspect trailers from a GOP donor at way above cost, and refused to test them until Congress persisted. Are the Utes going to get the trailers that all have the same key too?

I know the Utes need affordable housing and Congressman Matheson is trying to help, but if I were a member of the Utes, I would say "Thanks but no thanks." I just don't trust the government to not screw this one up anymore.

1 comment:

Homeland Stupidity said...

The truth is, the government can't do anything right. If we're going to help people in need, we have to do it ourselves.