Sunday 22 July 2018

Five presidents team up with Lady Gaga for hurricane relief

Jimmy Carter, George HW Bush, Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton. Photo: REUTERS
Jimmy Carter, George HW Bush, Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton. Photo: REUTERS

Sharon Martin

All five living former US presidents have appeared together for the first time since 2013 at a benefit concert for communities affected by hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey.

Barack Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton, George HW Bush and Jimmy Carter appeared on stage together at the event in Texas city College Station promoting 'The One America Appeal'.

President Donald Trump did not appear in person at the Reed Arena but recorded a message that was played to concert goers.

He said his wife Melania "and I want to express our deep gratitude for your tremendous assistance".

He added: "This wonderful effort reminds us that we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and our devotion to one another."

Lady Gaga also made a surprise appearance, and tweeted: "Nothing more beautiful than everyone putting their differences aside to help humanity in the face of catastrophe. #OneAmericaAppeal."

Lady Gaga waves to the five former presidents in the audience during the concert in Texas for hurricane relief. Photo: REUTERS
Lady Gaga waves to the five former presidents in the audience during the concert in Texas for hurricane relief. Photo: REUTERS

The fundraising appeal has so far raised $31m (€26m) for the relief effort.

This Atlantic hurricane season has been one of the worst in recent years. Irma killed 87 people in the US and its territories, while the US death toll from Maria now stands at 24, all in Puerto Rico.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are expected to cost the US between $150bn and $200bn (€170bn) in combined property damage, according to the Moody's credit ratings agency. In Puerto Rico, hundreds of thousands of people are still without running water and electricity.

President Trump has faced trenchant criticism for his response to the hurricane in Puerto Rico, including from the Mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz.

Ms Cruz recently issued a public plea to Mr Trump to do more to help the country.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News