Donald Trump went on another unhinged Twitter tantrum on Saturday morning, attacking the “fake news” and accusing millions of suffering Puerto Ricans of wanting “everything done for them,” but a new report indicates that his critics have been right about his poor response.
According to the Washington Post, Trump’s recent weekend trip to his golf club in New Jersey had a substantially negative effect on the Hurricane Maria relief effort in Puerto Rico.
Trump and his administration may be trying to play catch-up now, but the damage from the slow response time has likely already been done.
The Washington Post lays out the timeline:
As Hurricane Maria made landfall on Wednesday, Sept. 20, there was a frenzy of activity publicly and privately. The next day, President Trump called local officials on the island, issued an emergency declaration and pledged that all federal resources would be directed to help.
But then for four days after that — as storm-ravaged Puerto Rico struggled for food and water amid the darkness of power outages — Trump and his top aides effectively went dark themselves.
Trump jetted to New Jersey that Thursday night to spend a long weekend at his private golf club there, save for a quick trip to Alabama for a political rally. Neither Trump nor any of his senior White House aides said a word publicly about the unfolding crisis.
While Trump enjoyed his weekend vacation to his golf club, the report continues, the magnitude of Puerto Rico’s devastation was becoming clearer – but the president and his team were largely silent about the storm’s catastrophic impact on the island.
Instead, Trump spent his time endlessly ranting about NFL players kneeling before the national anthem.
This week, the president’s Twitter attention may have shifted to the millions of American citizens suffering and dying in Puerto Rico, but the content of his tweets may be more troubling than his initial silence. Instead of showing leadership and telling Puerto Ricans that he acknowledges the dire situation they’re in, Trump attacked them.
Donald Trump’s slow response was bad and will likely cost lives when all is said and done. His recent behavior – attacking Puerto Ricans and going after the mayor of San Juan – will only make things much worse.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.