From hauling boxes of relief supplies to feeding children, President Donald Trump made his time in Houston on Saturday count, as he and first lady Melania Trump sought to raise the spirits of the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Trump visits NRG center in Houston, where Hurricane Harvey victims are sheltered. pic.twitter.com/1MhFxQL4eY
— Toluse Olorunnipa (@ToluseO) September 2, 2017
The Trumps, joined by Cabinet members including Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, traveled to the NRG Center in Houston, now serving as a shelter for thousands of residents displaced by the floods.
“I’m a Democrat. It raises the morale. When he went to Corpus I was like, ‘Man he just forgot about us.’ This shows a lot of support. It perks up morale,” said Kevin Jason Hipolito, 37.
Pres and Mrs Trump handing out meals to people at Houston evacuation center. pic.twitter.com/ZyhmfvOkg0
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 2, 2017
HAPPENING NOW: President Trump and the First Lady visit Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston. So heartwarming! https://t.co/h5Z5TUUxJt
— Newt-Trump Fan Club (@NewtTrump) September 2, 2017
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) September 2, 2017
As Trump fed children and played with those bold enough to play with the president, Melania Trump, sporting a denim work shirt and Texas baseball cap, sat on the floor with other children.
“The message is that things are working out well. Really, I think people appreciate what’s been done,” President Trump said. “It’s been done very efficiently, very well, and that’s what we want. We’re very happy with the way everything is going. A lot of love. There’s a lot of love.”
Trump also helped with a very practical form of assistance Saturday, updating his initial disaster declaration to reduce the costs to state and local governments. Federal cost-sharing will be increased to 90 percent for debris removal, and 100 percent for emergency protective measures, up from 75 percent in the initial declaration.
Trump then stopped at the First Church of Pearland, where he said recovery efforts could take “two years, three years.”
“I think because this is Texas you’ll probably do it in six months, I have a feeling,” he said.
“I think for a lot of places maybe it never gets done. I think in your case it’ll get done very quickly,” Trump added.
At the church, Trump reminded those gathered that they will not be alone when they worship tomorrow, because Trump had declared Sunday a National Day of Prayer.
“So many of you are faith-based and I want to just tell you that tomorrow we have national prayer day. Tomorrow’s a very big day, so go to your church and pray and enjoy the day,” Trump said.
Elaine Ybarra, 41, said Trump’s visit was important to her.
“It’s quite humbling to have somebody of his stature come to this church,” she said.
“Him being here and bringing global attention to everything that’s going on here, he brings up prayers from around the world,” she said.
After their stop in Houston, the president and first lady headed to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to comfort storm victims there.
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source: Western Journalism