George W. Bush photo

Remarks on Hurricane Katrina Recovery Efforts and an Exchange With Reporters in Baker, Louisiana

September 05, 2005

The President. Listen, Laura and I have come back down to Louisiana, and then we're going over to Mississippi to let the good people of this region know there's a lot of work to be done, and we're going to continue working with the local and State people to get it done.

The first mission, of course, is to save lives. And so long as any life is in danger, we've got work to do, and they're going to continue to save lives, whether it be in New Orleans or the surrounding parishes or up and down the coast of Mississippi.

Secondly, we can help save lives once a person finds a shelter such as this. That means getting people food and water and medicine and help and in a place like this, love.

I want to thank the pastor for having us. I want to thank my friend T.D. Jakes for rallying the armies of compassion to help somebody like the mayor.

The response of this country to—has been amazing. But T.D. tells me about church family members of his who have adopted 20 people of the—from New Orleans. The pastor here has got his gymnasiums full of families, and volunteers are now responding to help the families. I want to thank every family member who's helping somebody who has been displaced. I want to thank every church member who's helping people who are displaced—who have been displaced.

America can be proud of the efforts of the churches and synagogues and mosques and community organizations that are helping these people. And this is a long-term project, to help these people. And this country is going to be committed to doing what it takes to help people get back on their feet. And that's why I've come back to this State, and that's why I'm going to Mississippi.

Again, I want to thank the pastor. The response of this church is indicative of the response of many around this Nation, and I mean cities big and cities small, families with, you know, who have got a lot of money and families with little money, all opening their arms to a brother and sister in need.

And again, I want to thank you, pastor. Thank you, T.D., for helping to call people to action. I want to thank the mayor, thank the folks of Louisiana. We've got a lot of work to do, and that's why I'm here to tell people, we'll get it done.

Thank you all.

Q. [Inaudible]—does the Government have——

Ongoing Relief Efforts

The President. So long as anybody's life is in danger, we've got work to do. That's why I want people to be assured we're going to do it. And—but remember, this is a project that not only deals with the immediate; we're going to have to deal with the long term as well. The immediate needs are being taken care of right here, and I fully understand there's a lot of work to be done.

Q. [Inaudible]—the Federal Government doing the best it can now?

The President. I think all levels of Government are doing the best they can. If it's not going right, we'll make it right.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:30 a.m. in the evacuee shelter at the Bethany World Prayer Center. In his remarks, he referred to Larry Stockstill, senior pastor, Bethany World Prayer Center; Bishop Thomas D. Jakes, Sr., chief executive officer, The Potter's House of Dallas, Inc., Dallas, TX; and Mayor Melvin L. "Kip" Holden of Baton Rouge, LA.

George W. Bush, Remarks on Hurricane Katrina Recovery Efforts and an Exchange With Reporters in Baker, Louisiana Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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