At least hundreds of commuters were stranded on Virginia's I-95 thoroughfare for more than a day after devastating winter storms and automobile accidents brought traffic to a standstill.
Riders were left without food, water, or medication before the interstate was finally cleared on Tuesday night.
Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia was among the commuters trapped in the below-freezing temperatures, with his 90 minute drive to D.C. taking more than 27 hours.
Undoubtedly, people of all political stripes were affected by the chaos, but the conservative Fox News network's Dana Perino leapt to blame Democrats, making a questionable claim in the process.
"I talked to a state legislator there in Virginia and he pointed out to me that, in the last several years, many on the left made a decision that local sheriffs should not be allowed to have military-grade equipment. Because they said that that was a bad symbol and that it was too militaristic and authoritarian. But imagine if they were still allowed to have the equipment that they had just a few years ago, it probably would've come in very helpful today."
In 1997, the Clinton Administration implemented the 1033 Federal Excess Property Program, which allowed municipal law enforcement to apply for outdated military gear that would then be transferred to them from the Department of Defense. Billions of dollars' worth of equipment has since been delivered, endowing police with things like armored vehicles and even grenade launchers, though this increased militarization has not kept police safer, nor has it lessened crime. So, yes, it's true that, across the country, Democrats have spoken out against this increasing militarization in recent years.
What isn't clear is why Perino thinks this equipment would've been useful in clearing hundreds of stranded vehicles on an interstate amid wreckage and below-freezing temperatures.
Did she expect them to bomb the snow?
Some pointed out that the solution to prevent such a disaster from happening again is revitalized infrastructure—much like the initiative Biden and congressional Democrats have partially passed, which Fox hosts like Perino have vocally opposed.
And though Perino decried the supposed demilitarization of Virginia's police forces in recent years, military gear transfers to Virginia law enforcement more than doubled in 2019.