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Trump’s Response to Puerto Rico was Inappropriate

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Trump’s Response to Puerto Rico was Inappropriate

Josie Krupens

Josie Krupens

Josie Krupens

Jessica Rivera, Opinions Editor

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   Although it has been almost exactly a year since Hurricane Maria first hit Puerto Rico, buzz is still circulating in the media about just how effective President Donald Trump’s response to the crisis was. As per usual, President Trump’s angry tweets defending his poor decisions are at the center of this controversy. For months, Trump has tried to antagonize and blame the Puerto Rican government for the suffering that occurred. However, as more time goes by, it becomes more and more evident that he and his administration are largely at fault for the ongoing turmoil .

   On September 13 of this year, Trump took to Twitter to address his opinions on his administration’s response to the Puerto Rico hurricanes. He tweeted, “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…” (twitter.com).

   To some extent, Trump’s statement is not completely invalid. The whooping toll of 2,975 was derived from a study done by George Washington University. This study gave the number of deaths that occurred during the hurricane and as a result of the hurricane, during the six months following. This means that there were thousands more deaths that occurred as a direct result of poor health care, disease, lack of electricity, and unsafe water that was an immediate result of Hurricane Maria (washingtonpost.com). Therefore, saying that this number appeared “like magic,” as President Trump tweeted, is incredibly ignorant (twitter.com).

   Trump continues to take to Twitter to boast about his “unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico,” despite the causes of the excess deaths being easily uncovered.  Senior Aila Huxford said, “I think he has been ignorant towards the fact that a lot of people died and are still suffering from the hurricane.”

    According to a study done by the Atlantic, only one in ten citizens had electricity in the weeks after the storm, and only half had access to safe drinking water. It took 11 months for all the customers of the Puerto Rico Power Authority to get power after the hurricane (thedailybeast.com). According to an article in the New York Times, the hurricane relief ships that were sent were only equipped to support 250 hospital beds and admitted only six patients a day (nytimes.com). This is not a response to be proud of.

   In fact, a survey done by the Washington Post showed that only 15 percent of Puerto Rican citizens rated the president’s response positively (washingtonpost.com). The credibility lies with human beings who were left in the wreckage.

   Along with disrespecting citizens by not validating their struggles, Trump also made the whole disaster about himself. On September 13, he tweeted “This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!” (twitter.com). News flash, Mr. President: no one cares about how you look. The death toll and reports on the state of the island were not fabricated to spite you. They were published in attempts to honor those who died and bring justice to those who are still living. Your job is to bring this country together, not antagonize the government of a country that is a territory of the United States. These are American citizens but, above all, people. People who looked to a President in a time of need and were angered when they were not cared for properly.

   The fact of the matter is that citizens of the United States, Puerto Rican and otherwise, were appalled by the President’s response to Hurricane Maria, showing that he is not the man he claims to be in his Tweets.

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Trump’s Response to Puerto Rico was Inappropriate