Harris Faulkner feigned compassion for the homeless at the same time that she railed against Joe Biden’s plan to increase payments for housing the homeless in San Francisco hotels and “forgot” about Trump’s role in the program.
This is what Faulkner melodramatically announced on Fox News’ Outnumbered show today:
FAULKNER: Federal tax dollars, as in YOUR dollars and mine, may pay to house homeless people in San Francisco hotels. This, after President Biden signed an executive order allowing for certain kinds of emergency homeless housing to be eligible for reimbursement. San Francisco reportedly has one of the highest homeless populations in the nation. It spends $15-18 million a month to house 2,200 homeless people in 25 hotels.
First of all, if we’re gonna talk about charity … we can’t get some of those hotels to play ball to get that cost down? 2,200 people for $18 million a month? I mean, can we start there? And we all have a heart to help the homeless but these numbers existed far before the pandemic.
I’m no expert on homelessness or housing but I watched the full discussion and here’s what Faulkner and her band of partisan propagandists “forgot” to mention: This is not a new program that Biden dreamed up to house the homeless in the lap of luxury at the expense of hard-working taxpayers. It’s an extension and an expansion of funding of a Trump administration policy.
From a December 10, 2020 NPR report (my emphases added):
Like some 22,300 people across California, [Gillette] Christa was placed in a hotel in San Francisco as part of a program called Project Roomkey – an effort to temporarily house seniors, and people who were medically vulnerable, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic. And now she's waiting to find out if she'll get placed into long-term assisted housing.
FEMA pays for 75% of the cost of running the hotels as part of the emergency response to the coronavirus. California counties have been relying on additional federal funding from the CARES Act, which is set to expire at the end of the year, as well as other state grants or local funding to make up the remaining 25%.
In case you’ve forgotten, Trump was still in charge of FEMA and the rest of the federal government throughout the month of December.
In its own hate-mongering propaganda, FoxNews.com obliquely revealed that much of the funding was already in place, before Biden took office, without telling readers that the Trump administration put it there. From its article called, “Biden may force American taxpayers to foot bill for San Francisco homeless hotels” (my emphases added):
San Francisco hotels used to house homeless people may be fully funded by the federal government this year, thanks to an executive order signed by President Joe Biden signed last Thursday.
Under the order, certain kinds of emergency housing for the homeless are eligible to be fully reimbursed through September.
[FEMA] said last year it would reimburse San Francisco’s program until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it never made clear how it would define the end.
Still, city officials welcomed the news on Thursday. The Trump administration never made clear when the funding would be cut off, prompting worry that the city would have to pay for the housing program entirely on their own and scramble to relocate the homeless.
If you ever heard Faulkner or anyone else on Fox complain about the Trump administration’s funding of housing for the medically vulnerable homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic, let me know. I don’t recall ever hearing any.
You can watch Faulkner’s selective, misleading outrage below, from the January 25, 2021 Outnumbered, via Justin Baragona:
Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner: "Federal tax dollars, as in YOUR dollars, and mine, may pay to house homeless people in San Francisco hotels." pic.twitter.com/uu6Rli8Xxs— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) January 25, 2021