It took President Trump three days to divert his attention from NFL players protesting to 3.3 million Americans who are stranded in Puerto Rico without electricity, clean water, and food. Yet when he finally acknowledged the ongoing humanitarian crisis on Twitter, Trump’s response was every bit what we have come to expect from this morally abhorrent president.
On Monday evening Trump logged on his favorite website to blame Puerto Rico, which is a territory of the United States, for the wasteland Hurricane Maria’s wrath spawned last week. Rather than offering any form of sympathy — even if it was feigned to appease the public scrutiny of his apparent silence — Trump rather repugnantly suggested the island was a burden that “sadly must be dealt with.”
Behold, Trump’s tweets:
It’s difficult to imagine that if Puerto Ricans could vote, Trump’s remarks would be as accusatory. But they can’t vote so instead the island’s residents, who are American citizens, are essentially told: “If only you weren’t so poor and your electrical grid wasn’t in such terrible shape, maybe then you wouldn’t be in this situation.”
Maria’s is expected to cost $20 billion in direct physical damage and while the damage was certainly exacerbated by the territory’s bankruptcy, Trump’s tweets make it seem like somehow a hurricane’s aftermath is the least of their problems. His tweets showed more compassion for Wall Street banks, who are tragically owed billions, than anyone who lives on the “destroyed” island.
As of Monday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had delivered 1.6 million gallons of water, 23,000 cots, generators, and food to the island after its main port was cleared. But congressional action is necessary to approve an aid package for the desperate island. “We need something tangible, a bill that actually answers to our need right now,” Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló told CNN. “Otherwise, there will be a massive exodus to the (continental) United States.”