In an interview with The Philly Post, Hurricane Sandy victim Donna Vanzant, whose pictured hug with President Obama became one of the main images from his visit to the region, spoke out today about the lack of assistance:
President Obama comforted you and offered you “immediate” assistance. Since your encounter with him months ago, what has been your interaction with the White House?
After his visit, I sent an email to President Obama. Many days later, I got a response back. It was disturbing.
It had nothing to do with what I was asking him. It was a form letter. It thanked me for supporting the troops. He made a promise to rebuild on national television, and I can’t even get this money. It’s heartbreaking, really. I did reach out to Senator Whelan, and I got a response that they were forwarding my email to the person that Governor Christie put in charge of Sandy relief. But from President Obama, I got a form letter.
What were you hoping for?
When you get a hug from the President of the United States, you feel like there’s something there. A promise was made. I have two grown kids. One is a U.S. Navy diver. The other one lives at the marina with his wife and new baby, and they lost everything. But I raised my kids to know that your word is your word. You promise something, you keep it, and that was a broken promise. I’ve never been a person to expect free handouts, but the President gave me hope. But now, I just don’t know.
The one and only.