Trump’s Shameful Treatment of Puerto Rico is Easy to Understand: They’re not White
Think fast: what’s the big difference between the residents of Florida and Texas as opposed to those in Puerto Rico?
initially Trump claimed not to know PR is part of this country. The Washington Post:
“The sad suspicion about Trump’s shameful treatment of Puerto Rico.”
“There is no rush, as there was after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, to approve the emergency funds that Puerto Rico will surely need. There has been no massive movement of military personnel and equipment to Puerto Rico: no aircraft carrier (one was sent to the Florida Keys in response to Hurricane Irma), no hospital ship (finally on Tuesday afternoon the Navy said it was sending one). The Post’s Joel Achenbach, Dan Lamothe and Alex Horton called the three Navy amphibious ships dispatched to Puerto Rico “a modest fleet given the scale of the crisis.”
“President Trump, so visible when Harvey and Irma hit, all but ignored the devastation that Maria brought to Puerto Rico, devoting more attention to respect for the flag at NFL games. When he did turn his focus to Puerto Rico on Monday, it was to say that the island “was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt” and that its “old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars . . . owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with.”
“Two Trump Cabinet members, Energy Secretary Rick Perry (who traveled with Trump to Texas and Florida after hurricanes there) and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, made a joint public appearance Monday but didn’t even mention Puerto Rico. And the Trump administration said it would not assist Puerto Rico by waiving the Jones Act, which restricts the use of foreign cargo ships, after waiving the act in response to Harvey and Irma.”
“Finally, Trump began to say the right things on Tuesday, acknowledging Puerto Rico “needs a lot of money.” He said he’ll visit next Tuesday. Trump explained that there’s “a very big ocean” around Puerto Rico but said “we’re doing a really good job” and predicted his administration will get an “A-plus” for its response.”
Uhhhhh-that’s not going to happen. It’s already way past the time when that was possible.
That’s out of the question, but Trump could avoid a failing grade if he hurries. Experts say the island could within days have disease outbreaks and the loss of law and order.
“As Achenbach, et al. report, Adm. Paul Zukunft, the Coast Guard commandant, said Monday that he understands why Puerto Rico’s residents feel forgotten. “They feel isolated, and they’re probably getting a sense of betrayal, of, well, ‘Where is the cavalry?’ ” Zukunft said.
“Good question. Phillip Carter, a military specialist with the Center for a New American Security, wrote a piece for Slate likening Trump’s “anemic” response in Puerto Rico to President George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Carter told me Puerto Rico conservatively needs a response of 50,000 U.S. troops. Even Haiti — a foreign country — got the help of more than 20,000 troops after its 2010 earthquake.”
Indeed. Puerto Rico is turning out to be Herr Trump’s Katrina.
And this is starting to be noticed. Politico:
“Trump faces growing backlash over Puerto Rico response.”
“Tensions are spiking as the U.S. territory struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria.”
“President Donald Trump and his aides are facing a growing backlash over their response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, with federal teams on the island struggling to deliver aid to those in need even as the White House trumpets its efforts as a success story.”
“The tension over the Trump administration’s self praise spilled out on Friday morning, with the San Juan mayor lashing out at acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke, who said on Thursday that the Maria relief efforts are a “good news story.”
“Damn it, this is not a good news story. This is a people are dying story. This is a life-or-death story,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said on CNN. “When you have to pull people down from their buildings — I’m sorry, but that really upsets me and frustrates me. You know, I would ask her to come down here and visit the towns, and then make a statement like that which frankly it is an irresponsible statement.”
“Trump White House feels heat on Puerto Rico.”
“Nine days after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island, emerging video and news reports of a heartrending humanitarian crisis are jarring with the Trump administration’s upbeat assessment of the relief effort.”
“And as the islanders’ plight is revealed, the White House risks becoming increasingly exposed politically at a time when it is already being pummeled by a tide of scandal and defeats, including the controversy over Cabinet members using private jets and the latest failed bid to repeal Obamacare.”
“The dire situation, and the reluctance of President Donald Trump to publicly embrace complications in the relief effort, are also raising questions about why the response to Maria seems more sluggish than the government efforts following monster storms that hit Florida and Texas over the last month.”
Yet, Trump and his friends continue to pretend everything is fine.
“As criticism of the White House effort grows, several emerging political threats are evident. The increasing contrast between the situation on the island being portrayed in news reports and the White House is beginning to set up a credibility gap that is casting doubt on the administration’s statements on the crisis.”
“There’s also a sense that officials are struggling to catch up with the quickly worsening narrative on the ground, and in the absence of a high-profile supremo to run the operation, or at least to speak about it publicly, the political messaging about the storm has been inconsistent.”
“Whereas Duke referred to a “good news” story on Thursday, FEMA Administrator Brock Long declared that he was “not satisfied” with the situation in an interview with CNN’s Kate Bolduan.”
“The government’s response left retired Gen. Russel Honoré, who turned around the botched response to Katrina in 2005, fuming.”
Yes, I saw that segment: Gen. Honore is disgusted with what has been-or more to the point hasn’t been done.
“I don’t know what the hell is going on!” he said on CNN, calling for the military to surge air traffic controllers onto the island to open airports, transportation specialists to clear roads and the deployment of many more troops, ships and helicopters.
“Puerto Rico is bigger than Katrina,” he said.
What’s going on? A few things.
1. Trump doesn’t see the political benefit of helping Puerto Rico
2. As they’re not white.
Worse than Katrina.
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