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Seth Meyers wonders just how prepared Ben Carson is to lead HUD's hurricane relief efforts
As people in Texas, Florida, and other states affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma start to rebuild, many will have to rely on assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and that's slightly worrisome, Seth Meyers said, considering who's at the helm.
Before entering politics, HUD Secretary Ben Carson was a gifted and respected neurosurgeon, but that doesn't make a person qualified to run a major government agency, Meyers said on Tuesday's Late Night. Carson has made statements that run counter to the organization's core mission, said people shouldn't feel too comfortable in public housing (announcing this after getting stuck inside an elevator at a Miami housing complex), and has yet to fill several positions at HUD. To really make his point, Meyers showed clips from a semi-bonkers speech Carson made at HUD in March, where he discussed how as a kid he loved going to the doctor to "smell the alcohol swabs," and marveled at his ability to make a hole in the side of a person's head to put depth electrodes into their hippocampus. "What does that have to do with Housing and Urban Development?" Meyers asked. "How many alcohol swabs did you smell?"
Adding to questionable leadership is the fact that under Trump's budget plan, HUD's next budget would be cut 13 percent from 2017, which would make an impact on people who have no choice but to turn to HUD for help rebuilding homes and businesses. Trump did sign a $15 billion hurricane-related aid bill, Meyers acknowledged, but it seems clear the administration does not understand the importance of programs like HUD. "Now is not the time to cut back on disaster relief programs," he said. "Especially not when hurricanes are lining up like they have numbers at a deli." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia