U.S. botched Haiti flights to Florida

E-mails show a costly squabble between state and federal governments during the post-earthquake crisis

Published March 15, 2010 5:20PM (EDT)

E-mails obtained by The Associated Press show that Florida and the federal government squabbled over where to send injured earthquake survivors while a humanitarian crisis unfolded in Haiti.

Hundreds of injured survivors of the Jan. 12 earthquake were brought to Florida hospitals. State officials say they were not getting enough notice or basic information about some of the patients.

The military abruptly halted the airlifts when Florida officials warned they could not treat any more victims. That provoked a bitter exchange over who was responsible for the delays.

A spokeswoman for the agency leading U.S. relief efforts says the government faced unprecedented challenges in an international disaster.

By Jennifer Kay

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