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Available Expert - Trump visits North Carolina to survey hurricane damage

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Queen’s University expert Korey Pasch is available to comment on the political implications and optics of US President Donald Trump’s visit to North Carolina today, during which he will survey recent damage caused by Hurricane Florence. 

“President Trump’s visit to North Carolina fits into larger political narratives that politicians use to leverage disasters for their own political purposes,” says Mr. Pasch. “Much like his recent disputing of a new study placing Hurricane Maria’s death toll around 3000, which my recent piece in The Conversation discusses, Trump’s visit to North Carolina is also advantageous politically as he can be seen as “in control” and “in charge” of the situation; a leader.”

“It’s also important since it can affect if Trump decides to declare a state of emergency and make more funding available for disaster relief,” he says. “But these events can also be damaging politically as the fallout over previous disasters has demonstrated. Hurricane Maria is one such example, but so is Hurricane Katrina, when President Bush was heavily criticized for his administrations bungling of the relief efforts.”

Mr. Pasch is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University whose thesis research is focused on insurance-linked securities called “catastrophe bonds” (or ‘cat bonds’) – a financial mechanism first used in the wake of 1992’s Hurricane Andrew as a way for insurance companies to transfer certain risks to private investors. He is interested in how financial markets are becoming increasingly integrated into the traditional insurance sector and what these changes could mean for the larger global political and economic realities of disaster management.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Dave Rideout (613.533.6000 ext. 79648, 613.453.5676, or dave.rideout@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613.533.2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, ON, Canada.

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