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Tremendous Job: FEMA Left a Million Bottles of Water on a Puerto Rican Airstrip for a Year

But yeah, I'm sure FEMA is ready for Hurricane Florence.

As another major hurricane bears down on the United States, President Donald Trump has told reporters the federal government's response to last year's storm in Puerto Rico was "tremendous" and "one of the best jobs ever done."

Almost on cue, pictures surfaced Tuesday night of what CBS News says is nearly a million bottles of water dumped at an airstrip in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico last September. By Wednesday morning, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confirmed that, yes, those were bottles of water that never reached any of the stricken Puerto Ricans, more than 3,000 of whom died in the aftermath of the storm.

It's unclear who exactly is to blame here, but there's no doubt that the government screwed up. According to CBS, FEMA says it gave the water to the government of Puerto Rico, which failed to distribute it.

The images of all that wasted water sitting on a runway might be infuriating, but they're sadly unsurprising. Given FEMA's track record—which Reason's Joe Seyton explored in detail earlier this week—this is pretty much what we've come to expect in the wake of natural disasters.

The same can be said of Trump's willingness to claim that the response to Maria was a success. While the current president's propensity for hyperbole makes his assessment seem particularly inaccurate, it's really not much different from George W. Bush claiming that Michael Brown, the then-director of FEMA, was doing "a hell of a job" in the wake of Hurricane Katrina (while federal workers were wasting $2 billion in disaster aid and blocking private agencies from lending a hand). Or from Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sharing a bro-hug on the beach after Hurricane Sandy, even as FEMA was running out of water and failing to deliver the 24 million gallons of free gas it promised to the storm's victims.

For what it's worth, FEMA now acknowledges that it dropped the ball in Puerto Rico. In a report released in July, the agency described the supply shortages, outdated equipment, and unprepared staff that caused problems in Maria's aftermath.

This morning, Trump tweeted that FEMA is "ready for the big one" as Hurricane Florence bears down on North Carolina. The cycle begins again.

Photo Credit: JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS/Newscom

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  • lap83||

    If they just had more money....

  • Don't look at me.||

    More training!

  • JesseAz||

    At some point it becomes the responsibility of local government. Remember, this is also the country who had union drivers strike instead of delivering goods and a mayor doing PSAs about not having resources in a warehouse filled with resources. FEMA is not local crisis management.

  • ||

    dumped at an airstrip

    Dumped in neat stacks that almost precisely conform to the dimensions of the runway they're stacked on.

  • damikesc||

    Apparently, Puerto Rico's government has no responsibility to actually provide the supplies GIVEN to them by FEMA.

    FEMA isn't there to wipe the government's ass for them. They provide the supplies and allow the government to supply them as needed.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Bingo. Anybody who has followed reports from Puerto Rico would be aware we did our part in getting the supplies there, then the local government, (Typical 3rd world kleptocracy.) sat on them, instead of distributing them.

    No, it isn't unclear who is responsible.

  • JesseAz||

    Don't forget about the union truck drivers striking during the crisis for higher pay.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Well, it is clear that the locally elected Governor is Irresponsible....and incompetent.

  • DPICM||

    No fucking shit. I'm all for blaming FEMA when it's FEMA's fault. But this story makes it look like FEMA managed to get a fuck ton of supplies over there and the Puerto Rican government was too fucking stupid to pick it up and distribute it.

    So fuck this bullshit fake news. If FEMA had distributed this stuff, we'd be reading an alternate story about how FEMA gave Puerto Rico's carefully stored water away.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It's unclear who exactly is to blame here...

    I'm as happy to accuse the federal government as much as the next person, but disaster recovery coordination is always more properly left to locals. They guy down the street from you knows better your needs than the guy several thousand miles away.

  • Sudden||

    The italics are even more absurdist when viewed with the rest of the paragraph:

    It's unclear who exactly is to blame here, but there's no doubt that the government screwed up. According to CBS, FEMA says it gave the water to the government of Puerto Rico, which failed to distribute it.

    Turns out it's very clear exactly who is to blame but not foaming at the mouth and laying all the world's issues at the feet of Trump will get one excommunicated from the cocktail and kochbucks circuit.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "kockbucks"!

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    This is exactly why you accuse the federal government. There isn't a whole lot that isn't more properly left to the locals. The federal government getting involved with everything is a huge problem.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I don't want to defend FEMA, but if they really did give that to the Puerto Rican government to distribute, and then Puerto Rico did nothing with it, then I don't believe that is on FEMA.

    The only way that it is, is if we remove all responsibility from all local sources and require everything to be managed absolutely through FEMA. Which is not only not practical, it is not something that people should want.

  • ||

    The only way that it is, is if we remove all responsibility from all local sources and require everything to be managed absolutely through FEMA. Which is not only not practical, it is not something that people should want.

    And, in a bit of fresh air from a branch of the government, FEMA actually admits and even advocates such on their website. They freely acknowledge that they'll likely stumble over themselves for the first 72 hours and that it's on you to be ready.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think FEMA should have very little involvement personally. The more local the better, places should be prepared for things that happen where they live. This goes for the state, local, and personal levels.

  • Bearded Spock||

    That's one silver lining to stories like this: people will realize the government is not going to come in and save the day, so they need to be prepared.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Sadly, this does not seem to be the case.

  • sarcasmic||

    Now if only there was some mechanism, like a price system or something, that would invisibly guide goods to where they were needed most.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I was disappointed that more discussion didn't happen around that law about who can deliver goods to port. That was a clear, anti-free market law, that would likely have direct and meaningful improvements to Puerto Rico's situation, while also expanding on liberty.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Reason covered it fairly well. So basically Hihn, Tulpa, and all of their socks heard about it. What more do you want?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Sadly, Libertarians discussed means that only I talked about it, as the one true libertarian.

  • Kristian H.||

    Is this a Feds / FEMU fuck up or a Puerto Rico Government fuck up? Truth be told, the Dem lead disaster areas haven't been gold plated successes...

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Anyplace led by Dem's is pretty much a complete disaster area anyway - without any additional assistance from Mother Nature.

    Exhibit A: the entire state of California.

  • Ron||

    considering Haiti is still a shit hole even though the Clinton foundation is still repsonsible for cleaning that mess up

  • JesseAz||

    Cleaning out*

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    The PR has a government?

  • ||

    The images of all that wasted water sitting on a runway might be infuriating

    What exactly is the problem with consuming a year-old bottle of water? I understand some are probably damaged and opened to the elements and shouldn't be consumed, but that can't be most of them. I could imagine many of the bottles have been irradiated by UV and can't be effectively moved, but it would be better to be clear how they've been wasted other than sitting on a runway.

    Also, it's a good thing I haven't heard anything about Puerto Rico's recovery in the intervening 12 mos. Otherwise, I might wonder why people have been monitoring the wasted water bottles for a year and just spoke up now.

  • sarcasmic||

    B P fucking A, dude.

  • Braaaap!||

    So there is literally nothing wrong with them. Good to know.

  • ||

    You left off a sarc tag.

    It would be absolutely fucking hilarious if these bottles of water are "wasted" because PR can't get infrastructure and personnel to the airstrip.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It's Sarcasmic.

  • ||

    Sorry, he's been leaving '/not sarcastic' tags off of lots of his other posts then.

  • sarcasmic||

    I thought the "fucking A" would make it kinda obvious that it was sarcasm.

  • sarcasmic||

    BPA has been in the news a lot around here. The watermelons think it causes cancer warming or global birth defects or some shit. I don't really give a fuck.

  • Ben of Houston||

    You do know that polyethylene terephalate has no BPA. In fact, even if you had it in Polycarbonate (which does contain the chemical) and have it sit out for a year, the amount leached would be essentially undetectable (part per billion levels), and as BPA is processed rapidly in the bloodstream, there would be no danger.

  • Trollificus||

    Yeah, but what about the bottles being irradiated by UV, huh? Risk of sunburned esophagi!

    They'll just have to wait till the UV settles out, and collect it. I think they use it in the solar panels.

  • Trollificus||

    Yeah, but what about the bottles being irradiated by UV, huh? Risk of sunburned esophagi!

    They'll just have to wait till the UV settles out, and collect it. I think they use it in the solar panels.

  • Trollificus||

    Yeah, but what about the bottles being irradiated by UV, huh? Risk of sunburned esophagi!

    They'll just have to wait till the UV settles out, and collect it. I think they use it in the solar panels.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    That water is probably still perfectly drinkable if the bottles were sealed properly.

    But no, it's not going to magically move itself from the runway to somewhere else, and last I checked there are still people in Puerto Rico, even though many have fled to the mainland.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    They probably passed the crates of water on their way to the airport.

  • The Squat Team||

    So, some people ruin their living area, aren't prepared for an emergency as a result, and then bitch about the charity they recieve.

    Yeah, I don't care.

  • albo||

    I'm sure folks on the left who are blaming FEMA and the president for this are the same people who want the federal government to take over health care.

    And they see no disconnect with that.

  • creech||

    Let's look at this "Trump callousness toward Puerto Rico" another way. Who's to blame because there weren't 500,000 generators with fuel stockpiled on Puerto Rico? Why didn't FEMA have 1,000 airliners mothballed on P.R. runways "just in case" they needed to evacuate people to Miami? Why wasn't a complete parallel underground utility infrastructure waiting "in case?" Why weren't there thousands of fully stocked shelters built on the island? Shouldn't 100,000 U.S. troops been stationed on P.R. "just in case" they needed to rescue people up in the hills? None of this emergency stuff was available and I blame OBAMA who had eight years to ensure that FEMA was prepared.

  • Paloma||

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that nowhere near 2,900 people died because of Hurricane Maria. It's probably the same people who believe 1 in 5 women are raped on college campuses.

    I'd like to see a list of names, like they have for the 9/11 attacks.

  • Bearded Spock||

    If you have 3,000 dead bodies on an island the size of Puerto Rico its going to be pretty obvious, especially in that climate.

    The 2004 tsunami in Thailand killed about the same amount and the stench was described as overpowering and lasting for months.

    Unless these bodies were all washed out to sea or buried in landslides it should have been pretty easy to find all these dead people.

  • Ron||

    the method of determining the number dead was made by calling people on the phone to see if they heard of anyone who may have died and used statistical conjecture to come up with a number instead of going to the hospitals and morgues to get an actual number of dead. its a bogus number created to imply Trumps a heartless Piece of S#it failure

  • Brett Bellmore||

    So, you're saying the estimate was compiled by Lancet?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    At this point, Trump should run Medicare and Medicaid personally since he's likely to completely destroy them with his meddling.

  • Bearded Spock||

    Clever strategy. Trump should announce that Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid are in "tremendous shape, best they have ever been" and see the Media suddenly start reporting how the system is on the brink of collapse.

  • Headache||

    ^^THIS^^

  • ||

    So, the absolute and utter bankruptcy of this article just hit me.

    People in PR are presumably dying of dehydration. We don't know those numbers nor presumably care as not only are they not provided but not even a whiff of any sort of remediation is provided.

    There's a very big and heavy question about territorial sovereignty and whether political leaders in PR should climb off the mountains of cash we've thrown at them and maybe get some of the water that was left for them to the people that are presumably dying of dehydration. But, again, this is all presumption and left largely unclear by the article.

    What is crystal clear is that, despite people suffering hardship and dehydration and despite the tangled snarl of shipping stuff from the mainland to PR, Trump said something that was between semi-detached and completely detached from reality. Again.

    Jesus, if I already knew that Trump was a liar this political footballing of natural disasters would seem kinda morbid.

  • DPICM||

    I don't follow your conclusion. FEMA's job is to get the supplies there. It appears that they did that. The PR's local government shit the bed. Why is that Trump saying something that's detached from reality? Trump's agency did its job, and it appears they did it pretty well.

  • Jerryskids||

    You know, after Trump leaves office he should take a job coaching the Cleveland Browns. The Browns will still never get anywhere within sniffing distance of the playoffs but millions of people will be willing to swear they're the greatest team in the history of the NFL and won't hear a word against the fantastic job being done by Coach Trump.

    You people are disgusting.

  • damikesc||

    Jerry, what --- EXACTLY --- were the Feds to do?

    They GAVE THEM THE SUPPLIES.

    PUERTO RICO didn't distribute them.

    How, precisely, is this anybody's fault but the inept Puerto Rico government?

  • ||

    Sure, the team's never been any good and is, possibly fundamentally, incapable of attracting the required talent to get ahead... and after a disastrous season the officiating completely fell apart... and because there's no talent and poor officiating, infrastructure is so bad that players on the field and even fans in the stands are being injured, but the real problem... the real reason the franchise can't get back on it's feet? Coaching.

  • Headache||

    Browns tie Steelers, 21 to 21 F/OT. Steelers suck in 2018.

  • ||

    I never said anything about the Browns.

  • Courinho||

    Are they more or less disgusting than your "TRUMP IS PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERY BAD THING EVER, AND I DON'T CARE HOW INSANE I LOOK SHOUTING IT AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY" performance?

  • John||

    Jerry once had a brain. Sadly Trump seems to have eaten it.

  • DesigNate||

    I'm not a Trump supporter or a Patriots fan, let me just get that out of the way.

    If Trump bought the New England Patriots after leaving office, you'd have millions of people saying they aren't the best team in football and that Tom Brady is a shitty quarterback.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Tom Brady is just another asshole.

  • JesseAz||

    Wow. Full grade dumb.

  • damikesc||

    Joe is quickly joining Dalmia in the "I won't read the column, but I will read the comments" area of this site.

    The same can be said of Trump's willingness to claim that the response to Maria was a success. While the current president's propensity for hyperbole makes his assessment seem particularly inaccurate, it's really not much different from George W. Bush claiming that Michael Brown, the then-director of FEMA, was doing "a hell of a job" in the wake of Hurricane Katrina (while federal workers were wasting $2 billion in disaster aid and blocking private agencies from lending a hand). Or from Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sharing a bro-hug on the beach after Hurricane Sandy, even as FEMA was running out of water and failing to deliver the 24 million gallons of free gas it promised to the storm's victims.

    FEMA provided the supplies. Puerto Rico, who has been governed horribly for as long as anybody can remember, yet again fucked everything up ten ways from Sunday.

    But this is FEMA's fault? Because they didn't also distribute everything for the government there WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DOING THAT AND FAILED FOR A FUCKING YEAR TO DO SO?

  • ||

    Reporters have known about the water the whole time. It's yet to be disclosed as to whether they informed Washington, the Puerto Rican Government, or Puerto Ricans about the water first.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Joe is quickly joining Dalmia in the "I won't read the column, but I will read the comments" area of this site."

    Eric Boehm this time.

    Most all Reason writers are clowns these days, and the ones that used to be good are increasingly infected with Lefty standards of journalism.

    Import Woketarians, become Woketarians.

    I come for my 2 Minutes of Hate Comments against the Woketarians. Read this trash? No way.

    It really is hilarious how much Reason is hated in it's own comments section.

  • Uncle Jay||

    The bottled water was for display only.
    You don't really think the water was to be consumed by the people, did you?

  • John C. Randolph||

    Obviously, FEMA failed to budget the bribes necessary to get the local potentates to actually distribute anything to the people.

    -jcr

  • Trollificus||

    Isn't the PR system the same as any 2nd World shithole? If the poobahs can't sell aid and supplies out of country, it either gets distributed as a) bribes and payoffs to party members/functionaries/allies or b) distributed FOR bribes to citizens who can afford to pay a bribe. That water should have been distributed and the appropriate pockets lined.

    If the PR government officials are too fucking lazy to even do corruption properly, that's a sad commentary.

  • Bearded Spock||

    Holy shit Boehm, your Trump Derangement Syndrome just hit Shikha level. Somebody needs to stage an intervention.

    Let's review here: FEMA gives the government of Puerto Rico a million bottles of water shortly after the hurricane. On other words, they successfully delivered necessary supplies in a timely manner.

    The Democrat-run government of PR lets it sit on the runway for a year.

    And this is supposed to be Trump and FEMA's fault?

  • John||

    There are a million bottles of water sitting on a runway in PR and no one in PR bothers to go pick them up and somehow the problem is FEMA. Pathetic.

  • Paloma||

    Technically the Puerto Rican government cannot be run by Democrats. Nor Republicans. Those parties don't exist in Puerto Rican politics. It's either the Popular Democratic Party (Populares) or New Progressive Party ( Progresistas). The Puerto Rican Independence Party and Puerto Rican Socialist Party are minority parties

  • Headache||

    That explains everything.

    Schumer must have had a conference call the day before Maria sat on Rica's face.

  • Bearded Spock||

    Thanks for providing a local perspective

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Both Puerto Rican major parties are basically the Democratic party on steroids, only with added dementia.

  • Trollificus||

    Boehm acknowledges this in the article (tiny bit of actual journalism)...and then proceeds to completely ignore it.

  • Jerry B.||

    Apparently, Mr. Boehm thinks that FEMA should have delivered every bottle individually, then removed the cap and poured it down the thirsty peoples' throats.

  • Nardz||

    Where was the water?
    Left on a runway IN PUERTO RICO.
    Sounds like FEMA did it's job.

  • Ron||

    its my understanding that the local union truckers refused to haul any emergency supplies to anywhere on the island. when people refuse to help themselves then there is no reason to help them any further

  • Paloma||

    Puerto Rican politics. The Truckers Union took that very moment to go on strike and put the squeeze on the Puerto Rican government. The mayor of San Juan was in the party opposing the party of the governor. Rather than seeing the goods delivered, they both took the opportunity to grandstand.

    Nevermind. Puerto Ricans got water from Starbucks.

  • croaker||

    FEMA is not at fault. PR government is.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    You don't have to choose.

    That FEMA would put in the effort and expense to move that water there without any guarantees beyond that is insane and typical for government.

    For the PR government to not do anything useful with the water is also insane and typical for government.

    For Trump to say that anything done under his watch is great is also insane and typical for government.

    They all suck. That's why I'm a libertarian. How 'bout you?

  • Don't look at me.||

    That's correct. They are all useless, everyone needs to be removed from office at each election.

  • HANSENWT||

    Really, this is FEMA's fault? Eric Boehm should be fired immediately for being a complete incompetent idiot.....and yeah citing FEMA taking responsibility for shortfalls when you should want them to analyze ever response to try to improve instead of analyzing the PR response, the San Juan response....Can you prove to me that no one in PR knew that water was there? There was a constant problem with trying to get help from PR to distribute goods....Do you remember the Major standing in front of tons of supplies claiming that no response from Trump and FEMA was killing everyone. Do you know anything about the trailers recently found with tons of expired food because it has been sitting there for a year?.....If "Reason" wants to be taken seriously it needs to get better journalists then this.

  • HANSENWT||

    meant Mayor of San Juan not Major

  • Homple||

    Lots of stuff sat for a long time on docks in PR because the government there wanted extra taxes/bribes to release it.

  • Flight-ER-Doc||

    Yeah, FEMA turned that water over to the Puerto Rican government....and they let it sit there.

    So the only problem is trusting the local, corrupt government.

  • scJazz||

    FEMA didn't leave the water! They delivered it and handed it over to the PR Government! Totally misleading article and title! PR left a million bottles of water!

  • Elioron||

    Mr Boehm needs to learn about NIMS and how Emergency Management works.

    Let's also not mention that the Mayor of San Juan (the one the media was using to blast the Trump Administration's response) was arrested on corruption charges.

  • David Axelrod||

    And why is this FEMA's fault? Are the Puerto Ricans so dam inept that they can't distribute water? Christ! I realize the entire island is a welfare state, but you would think they would get off of their collective arse and help!!!

  • Wolfe Angel||

    Likely there was no room left to put it at the drop offs for local emergency services to distribute. Much like when the San Juan Mayor was complaining of getting no support when pallets of supplies were in the background. And as the the dead. They didn't all die from lack of water did they. So somewhat sensationalist, especially for a site labeled "reason".
    https://youtu.be/41hl5RwfOVc

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    "This morning, Trump tweeted that FEMA is "ready for the big one" as Hurricane Florence bears down on North Carolina. The cycle begins again"

    For once I am happy I don't live in North Carolina, though I am concerned for my many friends that do.

  • Presskh||

    If you're stupid enough to believe it's the government's responsibility to prepare and take care of every single citizen in a natural disaster, maybe you should just move to the 9th ward in New Orleans and wait, along with your brethren, for the next big one to flood the city. Large natural disasters best exemplify Darwin's theory of natural selection.

  • NashTiger||

    I just wish Campus Reform or Crowder would do one of those man on the street polls where they get people to criticize Trump's handling of the Hurricane Florence aftermath sometime in the next day or so.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "It's unclear who exactly is to blame here, but there's no doubt that the government screwed up. According to CBS, FEMA says it gave the water to the government of Puerto Rico, which failed to distribute it."

    Mr. Boehm. Yes, he's one I'd expect for this kind of verminous propaganda.

    "It is unclear who exactly is to blame here."

    It's unclear when you're engaged in pushing propaganda instead of journalism. Simple question - in our federal system, whose job was it to distribute the water? The federal government, or local government?

    The only person you cite says it was local government. So why are you pretending there is some mystery about who is responsible, and it just may be FEMA instead of local government?

    "FEMA Left a Million Bottles of Water on a Puerto Rican Airstrip for a Year"

    What were they supposed to do, ship them home? Was the mainland US lacking for water? It would be an economic waste to ship them back. If the mainland US needed bottles of water, they'd be more cheaply fulfilled with local bottlers than making a special pickup and shipment from Puerto Rico.

    The bottles were shipped to combat an emergency. Local government failed to take advantage of the resource provided. And now the emergency, and the use for the bottles, is over. End of story. If you're honest.

  • josh||

    In their defense though, they didn't need all that water, since all those people were dead.

  • inoyu||

    People should be able to catch water when it pours from the sky.

  • Miter Broller||

    At what point does the responsibility of others kick in? FEMA purchased, loaded, shipped, and dropped off all of that water; short of hand feeding to those in need I think they met their obligation.

  • Presskh||

    As most have said, FEMA delivered the supplies - it was the incompetent Democrat-led local government that failed to distribute them. Also, the reason that there was such a large power failure is because of the incompetently-managed local power company - virtually every telephone pole was rotted wood and was easily toppled by the wind, not to mention the lack of routine maintenance at the power-producing stations. This was just another attempt by our leftist-owned media to blame Trump for the incompetence of Democrat-led localities.

  • Ghost on the Highway||

    Gosh, 3000 Puerto Ricans died of dehydration?

  • Trollificus||

    As often happens, the number was a preliminary estimate based on 1,000 phone interviews, then extrapolating from that hearsay the number of "extra deaths". Then what gets reported is the total number of deaths one would expect over the time period PLUS the imaginary/conjectured deaths. Note that neither hospitals, mortuaries nor cemeteries reported being overwhelmed by the supposed increase in deadies.

    So that suspect number, despite the disclaimers and qualifiers, despite the methodological issues, despite the hyperbole and the omission of "as high as" from the 3,000 total, is what gets reported and then becomes "fact" via constant repetition, in this case by REASON'S own "journalists".

    Any attempt to point to a more accurate number then becomes...you guessed it..."fake news".

  • VinniUSMC||

    In yet another display of TDS...

  • JRuss||

    A failed lie about a failed Puerto Rico response by a failed human being, Trump by definition.

  • martin002211||

    You shared a very nice story, i usually visit your site to collect information, for any kind of yahoo mail problems , please dial our yahoo customer support number

  • martin002211||

    yahoo support phone number

  • majil||

    So , from your story I see PR is more fucked up than Mexico as far as corruption and waste ? No way do we want a fucked up place like this becoming a State

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    It is the responsibility of local government to distribute FEMA provided supplies - if that government in fact exists.
    That is still up in the air re The PR.

  • Strategerist||

    Seems like fake news. FEMA delivered the water to PR and the Mayor and local officials did not distribute it.
    Pretty simple...

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