Pelosi describes Japan tragedy as 'beyond biblical'
March 16th, 2011
07:49 PM ET
12 years ago

Pelosi describes Japan tragedy as 'beyond biblical'

Washington (CNN) - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday described the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan as "beyond biblical in terms of its proportion."

The "humanitarian loss is so tremendous," Pelosi, D-California, told reporters on Capitol Hill, saying the United States is helping with humanitarian and technical assistance, but it's a "huge order."

"We all feel quite inadequate in terms of the size of the tragedy, but completely committed to helping," Pelosi said.

While Pelosi said she doesn't believe any radioactive material would "drift ashore" in this country, she noted that California and Hawaii would be in the "first line of receiving" any fallout and said the Federal Emergency Management Agency "needs to take inventory" of emergency supplies and figure out "how it gets directly to people."

The Democratic leader also expressed concerns about whether the United States is ready to deal with a similar nuclear crisis. She said she supports legislation that would supply potassium iodide to residents who live within a 20-mile radius of nuclear facilities. Currently that radius is 10 miles. Potassium iodide can help protect against thyroid cancer and is usually administered as a first response after a nuclear or biological accident.

Pelosi's comments came during an unrelated event on Capitol Hill meant to highlight the importance of CPR and first aid training in the wake of the Gabrielle Gifford's shooting.

The day-long CPR program, sponsored by the American Red Cross, was dubbed, "Gabrielle Giffords Save a Life Training Session."

American Red Cross President Gail McGovern said the event was inspired by the actions of Giffords' intern, Daniel Hernandez, who applied his first aid skills to help save the congresswoman's life after she and others were shot at a Tucson, Arizona shopping center in January.

Congressional staffers and lawmakers took the training, including Democratic Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-New York, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida.

Filed under: Japan • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. WiredweirdoinSF

    What an awful, horrible person. She cares nothing about people who actually pay taxes, nothing but a corrupt union toady.

    March 16, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    It is beyond sad what is happening in Japan. The Japanese people have also shown us that rioting and looting is not what comes after a double natural disaster.
    They are dealing with their pain and loss in a most civilized way.

    March 16, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  3. JCS

    Beyond Biblical? Nothing man can do is beyond biblical.

    March 16, 2011 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  4. terry, va

    What does that fool know about the bible?

    March 16, 2011 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  5. USNdiver

    And just WHAT DOES SHE know about the Bible ?

    March 16, 2011 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  6. Wayne

    Based on the former speaker's comment, it seems she knows little about religion. There is nothing in this world that is "beyond biblical", and when a biblical event does finally occur, it will make a little earthquake like that seem like childs play.

    March 16, 2011 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  7. spanky mclibrull

    Of course, the conservatives will cry that that the president was somehow weak or inadequate on this, whilst at the same time the people they voted for are working to defund any preparedness measures we have for this scenario.

    Granted, the spending cuts are just part of the GOP's war on the middle class, it's is mathematically impossible to balance the budget without both cutting military spending AND letting the tax cuts for the rich expire, but those options are "off the table". So the deficit will continue, but any compassion for our fellow Americans will not.

    March 16, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  8. Kirk

    That's kind of an ignorant comment. Has Pelosi ever heard about the book of Revelations? Biblical is the worse it gets, i.e.- the entire world is destroyed. Hyperbole can be a useful political tool I guess.

    March 16, 2011 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  9. Sgt Schultz

    Time to start shutting down the Nuke plants on California's fault zones. They are not built to survive a large-scale earthquake.
    Replace them with new plants that are NOT in the middle of the earthquake zones. Not a very bright idea to build nuke plants near fault zone.

    March 17, 2011 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  10. Susan

    What does "beyond biblical" (small "b") mean?? I wish people in public life would remove deities and religious references from their discourse.

    March 17, 2011 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  11. Bill76

    Nancy loves the spotlight. Its funny when those undermining religion except for Islam, use biblical references or the term prayer so conveniently at opportune times.

    March 17, 2011 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  12. ijreilly

    Umm... Has she read the bible? What about the Amalekites?

    March 17, 2011 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  13. Aaron

    Let's hope that the U.S. government can provide aid to the Japanese to help them through this. Japan has been a staunch ally of America since the end of World War II. A different bunch than those that were supposed to be helping when Katrina hit would be nice.

    March 17, 2011 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  14. Palin Power

    This disaster is a clear message from God herself stating that this world badly needs Sarah Palin as our next President. God is not happy with Obozo and is setting him up to be a 1 term EPIC FAIL! President Palin will prevent such disasters from ever happening again for she has the divine power and blessing of God herself. She will bring harmony and prosperity throughout the entire world for she is truly God's Chosen One and the REAL Messiah and Savior.

    March 17, 2011 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  15. T'sah from Virginia

    "Gabrielle Giffords Save a Life Training Session."

    The name alone is a great idea!!

    March 17, 2011 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  16. Rick Douglas

    It's gotten to the point that it doesn't matter what Pelosi says, she just plain gives me the "heebie jeebies".

    March 17, 2011 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  17. diridi

    please do not bring any religion in politics.....please....i lost credence in religions....o.k....they are becoming more commercial and politics....o.k, and all these religions are man made.....i lost credibility....

    March 17, 2011 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  18. diridi

    work for poor and humanity.....

    March 17, 2011 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  19. HM?

    So an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown are a greater tragedy than a 40 day flood encompassing all of Earth? A flood that wiped out the entirety of civilization aside from a few handfuls of people that God took favor on?

    The recent events in Japan certainly are a tragedy, and one of the worst the modern history, but saying that this type of devastation is 'beyond Biblical' is wrong. Politically I understand the gesture towards solidarity with the Japanese people and trying to sharpen her international image, but Nancy Pelosi should not comment on matters that she seems not to entirely have a grasp on.

    March 17, 2011 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  20. Sergio D. Monterroso

    I wonder if she has ever read the Bible or if she even attended Sunday School or Cathechism, or church for that matter. The book of Genesis talks about the great flood that destroyed the whole world, how could Japan be beyond that? farther ahead the Bible tells us about the total and final destruction of the earth, this is way bigger than Japan.
    What is true here, is that Japan is bigger than Rep. Polosi's little mind!

    March 17, 2011 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  21. JOHN

    What happened to those poor people in Japan is terrible but the fact remains the bible is just a story taken for reality and Pelosi is just another politician using it for popularity gain. I wish the Japanese people the best and for Pelosi to take a hike.

    March 17, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |