The Trump administration’s response to the devastation caused by hurricanes this season has been controversial to say the least. But on Saturday night, some other leaders tried to show him how it’s done. Five former presidents attended a hurricane benefit concert and telethon called, “Deep From the Heart: The One America Appeal.” Meanwhile, Trump taped a video message for concert goers. (Right before the telethon, which began 5 p.m. Pacific Time, Trump tweeted about tax cuts. Just in case you were wondering.) The concert included performances by Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Sam Moore, and Yolanda Adams. Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance, too. It was a huge event.
One Appeal officially launched in September when all five former presidents set up a fund for hurricane relief.
Donations go to a restricted fund managed by the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation, which will then distribute it to charities. So far, they’ve raised $31 million for the victims of the storms. It was all about unity during the benefit, during which the former presidents each spoke to viewers.
This is not the first time that the former presidents have come together to continue helping those effected by disasters. Back in 2005, Clinton and the elder Bush teamed up to raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims. Obama called on Clinton and George W. Bush to raise money for Haiti in 2010 after the earthquake there. They raised $54.4 million.
Now, the former presidents are doing the same for Americans in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, where relief efforts are still underway.
In Puerto Rico, 1 million Americans still don’t have clean drinking water. The situation is dire, so it’s good to know that at least the former presidents are paying attention and looking to help. Hopefully, the efforts to raise money and rebuild won’t die down as the cycle of politics and news moves on. And the Trump administration can get Congress to spend as much money as possible to make that happen.