Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, said Monday that the "faith-based community" will have an important role in the state's recovery from Hurricane Harvey.
"The faith-based community here is going to have a very, very big role in this going forward when it comes to housing, putting people up," he said on Fox News' "Fox & Friends." "We're watching a very, very thoughtful, well-orchestrated effort in the face of a massive, massive storm that Mother Nature has thrown the state of Texas."
Perry also commented on the historic nature of the storm, and said that faith-based groups will remain involved in the relief effort for years.
"The models that we've had historically, you can throw them out the window. This is going to be a really, really long recovery. It's going to take a long time for people to be brought back to any semblance of normalcy in many areas of the state," the secretary said. "So the faith-based community may play one of the most important roles in this, long term. And that's what they've historically done."
President Donald Trump "will salute that," he added. "He will help them, he will support the faith-based community going forward as one of the major resources to help these people."
Perry also offered praise to Gov. Greg Abbott and refused to speculate as to whether Houston officials should have issued a mandatory evacuation order.
"I think spending any time trying to be critical at this particular point in time is a real disservice. We have people whose lives are in jeopardy here. You try to move 2.5 million people out, we did that in '05 with one of the major storms that we had, there are challenges on both sides of this. Let's focus on the search and rescue, then we'll get focused on the recovery," he said.
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