At least 11 people were killed and over 150 are missing in the aftermath of the collapse of the Surfside beachfront condo. Recent reports have revealed there were warning signs before the building fell as engineers reported several issues with the structure, but a local building official told board members that the building was in "very good shape." Despite the new intel, CNN asked Granholm what role a changing climate could have had on the destruction.
"Given what we know about the changing climate, given that you've seen an increase in so called extraordinary tides, and the impact that that can have in areas like south Florida, do you think that climate would have played a role in that building's collapse?" anchor Erica Hill asked. The segment was accompanied by the chyron, "Could Climate Crisis Have Contributed to Building Collapse?"
"Well, obviously we don't know fully," Granholm replied.
"We know that we're losing inches and inches of beach – not just in Florida, but all around," Granholm said.
The secretary said she needed to wait to see the analysis of the current investigation into the building collapse, but said that we should "adapt" to and "protect ourselves" from the consequences of a changing climate. One possible solution, she suggested, was to pass President Biden's infrastructure bills.
Viewers fumed that CNN and their guest appeared to be using the Surfside tragedy for political purposes.
"Absolutely ghoulish" and "beyond parody" other critics responded.
Other media have been accused of playing politics and playing the blame game in the aftermath of the Florida tragedy. The Intercept, for instance, appeared to pin the horror on the shoulders of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis over the weekend with a suggestive tweet that juxtaposed what he wrote about deregulation in January 2019 with a CNN headline about last week's disaster.
"These two things obviously have zero to do with each other, but people like Ken can’t help but try to ghoulishly seize on every tragedy to try to score point on political opponents," conservative writer AG Hamilton said.