MSNBC anchor Joshua Johnson suggested that the tragic Surfside condominium building collapse can be leveraged to justify the "price tag" of infrastructure spending amid tense negotiations between lawmakers and the Biden administration.
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," Johnson acknowledged that big-ticket proposals from Democrats are being used as "ammunition" by Republicans, but quickly pivoted to the horrific events in Florida, which has left at least 11 dead and 150 remain missing.
"There's nothing like a disaster to focus on the mind," Johnson began, alluding to the Surfside building. "I have never spent a night in a building and wondered if it was going to hold me up by morning."
"The idea that we have infrastructure in this building… Florida is one big infrastructure project," Johnson explained. "[Republican Sen.] Bill Cassidy is in Louisiana, that's a big infrastructure project. It's built on swampland. New York subways have flooded in the last few years."
Johnson then cited the National Institute of Building Sciences, which has claimed that "for every dollar you spend on hazard mitigation, it saves six dollars on disaster relief."
"Miami Beach hasn't been hit by a major hurricane since about 1926. They called it ‘The Big Blow.’ It was a Category 4 hurricane that killed 113 people, drowned and crushed by a hurricane," Johnson passionately told the panel. "I understand all these political calculi that are playing, but there's nothing like a disaster to remind the American people the home you sleep in may not stand by morning and there is something you can do about it."