But it’s precisely because FEMA isn’t set up to handle situations like Puerto Rico that we needed a capable president. “When a government agency needs to do something it is not designed to do, it takes a lot of very disciplined, rigorous White House leadership” to make it happen, Konyndyk said.
As an example, he mentions the Obama administration’s successful response to the Ebola outbreak in 2014. Neither U.S.A.I.D., the Centers for Disease Control, nor the military was equipped to address it alone. “It’s very easy in that instance for a government agency to just default to doing things the normal way,” Konyndyk said. In such circumstances, someone with a big picture view needs to figure out innovative ways to marshal America’s resources.