During a press conference on Staten Island with local and state officials, including Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Borough President James Molinaro focused his attention on the lack of support given by the Red Cross and cautioned listeners to stop giving to the organization.
Staten Island was hit hard by hurricane Sandy, which left over 115,000 homes without power. Several people were killed, including an off-duty police officer who helped save seven people including an infant before the rushing water overcame him.
With such widespread devastation, Molinaro voiced his discontentment with the Red Cross, explaining that people were still searching through the destruction to find any signs of lost loved ones.
When asked about his comments regarding the Red Cross specifically, Molinaro said that he was disappointed with the lack of response given the destruction that Staten Island experienced.
"Because the devastation in Staten Island, the lack of a response … You know, I went to a shelter Monday night after the storm. People were coming in with no socks, with no shoes. They were in desperate need," Molinaro told NBC.
"Where was the Red Cross? Isn't that their function? They collect millions of dollars. Whenever there's a drive in Staten Island, we give openly and honestly. Where are they? Where are they?" he added.
So far the death toll on Staten Island stands at 19, but with rescue and cleanup efforts underway, that number is expected to increase. One of the hardest hit areas of Staten Island was South Beach, which sits on the eastern edge of the island and bore the full brunt of hurricane Sandy's force.
"It's very emotional because the lack of a response. The lack of a response. They're supposed to be here … they should be on the front lines fighting, and helping the people," Molinaro said.