As North and South Carolina gear up for an increasingly foreboding Hurricane Florence, President Donald Trump is doubling down on his claim that his administration's response to Hurricane Maria, which killed around 3,000 Americans in Puerto Rico last year, was an unsung success.
Yesterday, when was asked what lessons can be learned from his administration's handling of Hurricane Maria last year, Trump remarked:
"I think Puerto Rico was an incredible unsung success."
During briefing on approach of Hurricane #Florence, Pres. Trump calls government's response to Puerto Rico followin… https://t.co/Ug79lKBlSE— ABC News (@ABC News) 1536695035.0
Even after receiving near-universal criticism for the absurd claim, this morning he took to Twitter to repeat the sentiment.
We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Ri… https://t.co/dED9plJWCR— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1536749519.0
It's unclear what body graded the president and his administration on its performance in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
After Puerto Rico's governor Richard Rosello adjusted the official death toll of the hurricane last month, the White House asserted that it "remains proud of all of the work the Federal family undertook to help our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico."
Research conducted after the hurricane has shown that the majority of deaths did not occur due to the physical impact of Maria itself, but from a lack of preparedness which debilitated access to medical care and other necessities.
Now, Americans are calling the president out for standing by the claim that Hurricane Maria's response was successful.
@realDonaldTrump From who? The “Paper Towel Industry”!????? https://t.co/M4bZsVzsmF— Born2play Drumcircle (@Born2play Drumcircle) 1536769779.0
@realDonaldTrump You're a complete monster.— Mike Selinker (@Mike Selinker) 1536768417.0
@realDonaldTrump All you cared about was being able to say "many people told me we did an amazing job." While you p… https://t.co/Vat6H998AM— Dave Hogg (@Dave Hogg) 1536758187.0
@realDonaldTrump Nope. Read this thread. The White House had NO plan for Puerto Rico a full WEEK after the hurrican… https://t.co/CunkRJuzzQ— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@Holly Figueroa O'Reilly) 1536749749.0
As Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolinas, Trump's words are casting doubts on his ability to respond to natural disasters.
Trump's words ahead of the impending storm have been anything but assuring.
Yesterday, he referred to Hurricane Florence as "tremendously big and tremendously wet." That same day, it was uncovered that the White House diverted 10 million dollars from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The president also released a video to Twitter earlier today ahead of the hurricane, which is expected to make landfall soon.
https://t.co/54YVC4DDfe— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1536750219.0
The more statements Trump makes on the hurricane, the more incapable Americans believe him to be.
@kylegriffin1 I sincerely hope and pray that Hurricane Florence makes a turn north and east. Trump is incapable of… https://t.co/u6ies7WeQQ— Timothy Kenison 🌊 #FearInoculum (@Timothy Kenison 🌊 #FearInoculum) 1536695629.0
Americans can only hope that those in Florence's path evacuate to adequate shelter and that destruction and death is kept to a minimum. As the president has proven time and again, damage control is not his specialty.