George W. Bush visits New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina 10th anniversary

Photo credit: George W. Bush (via Instagram)
George W. Bush and Warren Easton Charter High School students (Photo credit: George W. Bush via Instagram)

Former President George W. Bush returned to New Orleans and Mississippi 10 years after Hurricane Katrina and the devastation that left 2,000 people dead and his approval rating as sitting U.S. president in the toilet.

Areas that have yet to fully recover from the fatal flood caused by broken levees were not on the 43rd president’s roster of places to visit, as he avoided damaged locations such as the Lower 9th Ward, where President Barack Obama had been the day before. Instead, he and former first lady Laura Bush greeted students and administrators of Warren Easton Charter High School, which Mrs. Bush’s foundation helped rebuild after it closed due to storm damages. There, he also met with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who was in office during the hurricane.

“Isn’t it amazing? The storm nearly destroyed New Orleans and yet, now, New Orleans is the beacon for school reform,” Bush said at Warren Easton, the oldest school in the city.

He then traveled to Gulfport, Mississippi, to address the police and firefighters who helped save the lives of the endangered citizens a decade ago.

“The 10th anniversary is a good time to honor courage and resolve,” Bush said while in Gulfport. “It’s also a good time to remember we live in a compassionate nation.”

Bush did not take any questions at either location and did not speak on the tragedy that he and his administration was heavily criticized for due to their slow and nonchalant response. While thousands of U.S. citizens were desperately seeking safety from the rising water and many others were dying, Bush infamously flew over New Orleans without touching down to comfort residents and was recorded saying, “Heckuva Job, Brownie,” to Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown.

After much of the nation was dissatisfied with the Bush administration’s response — including rapper Kanye West, who stated on a live Hurricane Katrina relief telethon, “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people” — the former president’s approval rating plummeted and never recovered.

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