Louisiana Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu is facing a runoff election on Dec. 6 against Republican Dr. Bill Cassidy. Her hopes are so slim, the national Dems have pulled their funding and ads.
On Thursday, Landrieu tried to gain some traction at a press conference in front of a Veterans Affairs medical facility, where she yammered about how she got federal money for Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, while Cassidy allegedly didn’t lift a finger to help Louisianans.
Standing in front of a VA Medical Center construction site, Landrieu called Cassidy “wishy-washy, unreliable, undependable, not sure who he is, not sure who he was and not sure who he wants to be.” Landrieu followed up her finger wagging with a hashtag campaign #WhereWasBill.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Bill Cassidy led a group of health care volunteers to convert an abandoned K-Mart building into an emergency health care facility, providing basic health care to victims of the natural disaster.
We had no way to predict what people coming out of New Orleans were going to need. My physician group didn’t have emergency preparedness responsibilities, so we made a lot of this stuff up as we went along.
The old K Mart we were to use had been abandoned for about eight years. It was filthy. There was no electricity, no air conditioning and no windows.
We had doctors and nurses step up to design the facility. I asked my friend the insurance guy to be the volunteer coordinator because insurance guys always know everyone. Around 150 people from two churches showed up with mops and brooms to help clean. An electrician got the power up in 24 hours. We created four to five wards holding 30 cots each.
Trucks arrived with $5 million worth of medical supplies, but no packing lists were included. We had I.V. bags but no poles. We had cots but no crash cart. Our volunteers found EKG machines, printers–someone even got a new Honda delivered. Physicians showed up from as far away as Iowa. By the time patients arrived, we had beds, lights, generators, computers and volunteers to play with children, provide transportation and reconnect families.
We saw fatigue, dehydration, emotional trauma and illnesses like diabetes and asthma made worse by the patients’ experience. The shelters wouldn’t take newborns, so we took mamas and their babies. It was the most amazing thing. We never got the volume we braced for, but we were ready–in 26 hours.
In 1998, Dr. Bill Cassidy helped found the Greater Baton Rouge Community Clinic to provide uninsured residents of the greater Baton Rouge area with access to free health care. The Clinic provides low-income families free dental, medical, mental health and vision care through an innovative “virtual” approach that partners needy patients with doctors who provide care free of charge.
Landrieu is one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate, at times opposing her party’s positions, yet she voted in support of President Obama’s positions 97% of the time in 2013, which should tell you all you need to know about what “conservative Democrat” means.