Tuesday, September 27, 2005

KRT Wire | 09/14/2005 | Suffering goes on beyond the klieg lights of catastrophe

In the week that Hurricane Katrina engulfed the Gulf Coast, pediatrician Deborah Frank examined a 2-year-old girl who weighed only 21 pounds. (That's the normal weight of a 1-year-old.)

When Frank asked if the girl had enough to eat, the child's mother burst into tears.

This was not in New Orleans or Biloxi. It was in Boston. Frank's clinic sees about 25 malnourished children a week.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, I don't want to play the "blame game." I want to play "truth or consequences."

George W. Bush didn't learn about 25,000 desperate and hungry people stuck in the New Orleans convention center until 24 hours after the rest of the world saw it on TV. He received the revelation only when an aide brought an Associated Press story into the Oval Office.

That was a predictable consequence of our president's penchant for avoiding the "media filter" and distancing himself from unpleasant news.

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