US govt urges country to focus on hurricane relief efforts

The White House on Tuesday urged the country to focus on relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, rather than engaging in the "blame game."

While there was criticism on the federal government's response to the disaster, the whole nation needed to "keep our energies focused on the task at hand," White House Spokesman Scott McClellan said.

There would be plenty of time for examining the issue in the future, he added.

McClellan said President George W. Bush was devoted to the relief efforts at a whole-time basis.

He said the president's schedule for Tuesday was filled up with meetings with the cabinet, the congressional leadership, representatives of charitable organizations and US Education Secretary Margaret Spellings to talk about assistance for displaced students and closed schools.

The spokesman also mentioned that Bush has made personal donations to the Red Cross and the Salvation Army for relief efforts.

The Congress Homeland Security Committee is expected to convene hearings as Congress reconvenes this week to examine the "weaknesses and strengths" of the federal response and to "apply the lessons learned."

In related developments, US army engineers have finally plugged a major levee break in New Orleans, Louisiana, and started to pump out the flooded city Tuesday.

Source: Xinhua

People's Daily Online ---