After the Democratic hoax of Maria. Photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
It took the White House all day to come up with an ostensible defense for its sick narcissist's claim that Democrats just made up over 3,000 dead people in Puerto Rico "to make me look as bad as possible” - he was "responding to the liberal media and San Juan Mayor (that mean mouthy lady who spent weeks wading in sewer water pleading for help) who sadly, have tried to exploit the devastation (with) misinformation and false accusations" - but meanwhile the clamorous uproar came fast and fierce, especially after a press briefing on Hurricane Florence he used to blame Puerto Rico, again, for its misfortune.
Social media exploded at what could only be a despicable sociopath's attempt to erase others' deaths and pain to make himself the victim for political gain; many counseled he, "Get help...Stop lying...Resign....Fuck off," and even more offered some variety of the observation that, "Oh honey, you don't need the Dems to make you look bad - you do that all by yourself." San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz added a tweet calling the president “delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality,” and even Fox News' minions were embarrassed enough to suggest the remarks by their lipsticked pig were "unseemly" and "distasteful," even if they were about brown people.
Of course the remarks were also bullshit, or what the Washington Post fact-checkers called "the mirror opposite of reality" in a story titled, pretty amazingly, "Why Trump's Grotesque Tweets About Puerto Rico Are Obviously Untrue." Others chimed in with more inconvenient facts: Some studies put the number of deaths at over 4,600 due to lack of food, clean water, and medical care; of the nearly 1.4 million people who lost electricity after the hurricane, untold numbers still don't have it; blackouts remain common, as do concerns about the safety of the island’s water supply. And today, new stories of incompetence keep emerging.
According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released this month, the day Hurricane Harvey hit Texas the previous month, FEMA had delivered 35 generators to the area; the day before Maria hit Puerto Rico, just four generators were delivered to the island, and FEMA lacked enough Spanish-speaking employees to adequately help residents with aid. Nine days after Harvey, FEMA had approved $141.8 million to its victims; nine days after Maria, they'd approved $6.2 million, delivered far less food and water, and deployed 20,000 fewer people than during Harvey. Among Trump's failures were 30 million FEMA meals that never made it to the island. Even in death, Puerto Ricans were denied their due and dignity: FEMA just told Senate Democrats they've approved a mere 3% of requests - 75 out of 2,431 - for help with the costs of burying loved ones. Their letter was dated Aug. 14, but only made public Tuesday - the same day Trump crowed his handling of Maria was an “incredible, unsung success.”
Puerto Rico is only one of many catastrophes in the making. In Texas, where Harvey displaced about a million people, many are still struggling to recover, in part because Trump revoked an Obama-era rule enforcing stricter building codes as protection against flooding. Last year, Trump also disbanded an Obama-era climate panel to help cities deal with the potential effects of climate change. In North Carolina, currently anxiously awaiting Florence, not only did a GOP-controlled legislature ban state actions based on climate change research; they're still scrambling to recover from last year's Hurricane Matthew and its $4.8 billion in damages thanks to receiving less than 1% - $6.1 million of $929 million - of federal recovery funds it requested. The White House offered no explanation for the refusal.
It also failed to explain the $10 million moved from FEMA to ICE, part of a reported $169 million stolen from an array of agencies to help fund kiddie prisons. Oh, and the FEMA guy in charge of our natural disaster responses is under investigation. While Paul Ryan and other GOP douchebags continue looking away from the Trumpian chaos and indecency, many others are not. Among them is one Keith Hernandez, whose father died in Puerto Rico. "He died alone, without power, without his medication," he writes. "Fuck this fucking fuck and everyone who voted for him and enables him. To disregard human life like this is the lowest of his lows."
— Andy Rodriguez (@arodntx) September 13, 2018
"Thou art a flesh-monger, a fool and a coward." - Will Shakespeare in "Measure For Measure."
Memorial for Maria victims. Photo by Alvin Baez/Reuters