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 following Hurricane Maria "tremendous."
— ABC News (@ABC) September 11, 2018
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 Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan). We are ready for the big one that is coming!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 12, 2018
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.
If you call 2975 people dead, a great job, I hate to see what a mediocre job would look like
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) September 12, 2018
What a sad, sick, sorry, dangerous man.
— Jeffrey D. Sachs (@JeffDSachs) September 12, 2018
The “Paper Towel Industry”!????? pic.twitter.com/M4bZsVzsmF
— Born2play Drumcircle (@conga81) September 12, 2018
You're a complete monster.
— Mike Selinker (@mikeselinker) September 12, 2018
All you cared about was being able to say "many people told me we did an amazing job." While you preened, an island died. #NeverForget
— Dave Hogg (@stareagle) September 12, 2018
Nope. Read this thread. The White House had NO plan for Puerto Rico a full WEEK after the hurricane. This is from an anonymous source at FEMA. ("Anonymous" means YOU don't know who it is. It doesn't mean *I* don't know who it is.🙄🙄🙄https://t.co/c2UpepcqGM#WednesdayWisdom
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) September 12, 2018
As Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolinas, Trump’s words are casting doubts on his ability to respond to natural disasters.