President Donald Trump called the response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico "an incredible unsung success," even though nearly 3,000 people died Photo: AFP
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Trump boasts of response to deadly Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

51 Comments
By ZACH GIBSON

President Donald Trump boasted Tuesday of the U.S. response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where almost 3,000 people were killed last year, as another major storm barreled toward the eastern United States.

Speaking to reporters as Hurricane Florence closed in on the U.S. East Coast, Trump said last year's operation was "an incredible unsung success."

Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico in September 2017, wreaking widespread devastation and causing $90 billion in damages.

It is ranked as the third costliest cyclone in the United States since 1900. In comparison, the death toll from 2005's Hurricane Katrina -- the costliest hurricane in U.S. history -- was far lower, and estimated at 1,833.

The mayor of San Juan, the capital of the U.S. commonwealth of more than three million people, was outraged.

"I'm sorry, sir, shame on you," Carmen Yulin Cruz said on CNN. "You did not do a good job in Puerto Rico.

"If he thinks that 3,000 people dying on his watch is a good news story or is an unsung success... nobody's going to be singing his praises," she added, calling the operation a "despicable act of neglect" by the Trump administration.

"If (Trump) doesn't learn from his mistakes, he's going to make them again and people are going to continue to die."

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello also criticized Trump for not providing additional federal funds still needed for emergency housing and debris removal.

"No relationship between a colony and the federal government can ever be called 'successful,' because Puerto Ricans lack certain inalienable rights enjoyed by our fellow Americans in the states," he said in a statement. "The historical relationship between Puerto Rico and Washington is unfair and un-American. It is certainly not a successful relationship."

© 2018 AFP

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

51 Comments
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As usual, Trump is trying to make everything about himself. Even such an immense tragedy. What a pathetic little man.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

He pumped his fists going to a memorial for people who died in the worst attack on the US. Then he told people that Florence was going to be tremendously wet. And followed that up by saying that Puerto Rico didn't have power before the hurricane last year, which meant his administration's response was great.

I really, really don't understand why people like this guy.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

And he gives himself an A+. Of course.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Trump said last year's operation was "an incredible unsung success."

Another example, as if more were needed, reinforcing the claims by so many that Trump's lost touch with reality. Or perhaps just another of his blatant lies.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

LagunaToday 12:03 pm JST

To be fair, as Trump pointed out, “This is an island surrounded by water, big water, ocean water."

I love it, we're living in a wonderful time, a time in which the president of the USA has the vocabulary of an eight years old. What a time to be alive my friends, this will stay in the history books.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Great job, Trump. Knocked it out of the park. As usual.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

So what?

Every time you ask yourself that, ask yourself how you and other conservatives would react if Obama did it. Try to be honest with yourself too.

As an Island nation everything bad that happens in on the mainland, but everything good that happens is on them?

That's not what he was saying at all. He was saying that Trump is needlessly insulting to Puerto Ricans when they're hurting and boasting about the administration's response adds to the lack of class and empathy displayed.

I can you you 2 dozen reasons.

I doubt it. But there are at least a dozen reasons not to like him. I gave two of them above.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

So you will only accept a number backed by a list of names that is backed by a list of bodies?

How is is it that Trump supporters eat up all the shite that flows from his mouth without supporting evidence but question sound scientific methods out of hand? The intellectual dishonesty is staggering.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

So we Puerto Rico is not responsible for some of that? As an Island nation everything bad that happens in on the mainland, but everything good that happens is on them? Yeah, in the liberal mind it makes sense.....I guess

Sure... Puerto Rico might be responsible for some of it but if Trump is going to claim things as his victory when they are untrue then he deserves to be called out on it. He deserves zero praise for this.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Yeah, good job, Trump.

From an article (in April)

Today, on the nine-month anniversary of the storm, there are still thousands of Americans who don’t have electricity in remote parts of Puerto Rico. It’s the largest blackout in US history. It’s the second-largest power outage in the world on record.

It has fueled a housing shortage, a suicide crisis, a spike in the murder rate, and likely more than 4,600 deaths. That a territory that’s home to more Americans than 21 states should suffer with so little for so long is a national disgrace. A hurricane is a force of nature, but a blackout is a human disaster, compounded by failures at every tier of government.

https://www.google.co.jp/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/energy-and-environment/2018/6/13/17413828/puerto-rico-blackout-power-grid-hurricane-maria

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I wonder how the response will compare when a non-Spanish speaking area is hit?

Regardless of language, they'll be working with less money because apparently the Trump administration took $10 million from FEMA and diverted it to ICE.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/09/11/femas-budget-cut-10-million-support-ice-documents-show/1274723002/

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Believing a demonstrated pathological liar over George Washington University is ignorant.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Blacklabel: So we are just buying at face value that the number of deaths is now more than 3000? Well once the media decided to push the “revisions” in how it was calculated to support a political narrative.

Gee we don’t have a perfect number so gee we can’t make any claims so gee no one can really criticize Trump.

Meanwhile, millions voted illegally in California. Tens of thousands were put on buses in other states. Tens of thousands of Muslims were cheering on 9/11.

All because Trump said so. And of course, no political agenda.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Sorry black I really don't follow what you're saying.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

At the time all he ever said was we cannot help Puerto Rico because of their debt. The tossing of paper towels says it all. Failed president and administration.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

To be fair, as Trump pointed out, “This is an island surrounded by water, big water, ocean water." He might have wanted to notice this before the hurricane struck and consider pre-responses.

Florence is approaching the Carolinas. I hope the damage is not great and the response much better than it was in Puerto Rico.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Well once the media decided to push the “revisions” in how it was calculated to support a political narrative. We are also listening to our old friend the mayor of San Juan who was found to have lied about not having relief supplies?

We're not listening to the media or the mayor, we're listening to researchers from George Washington University. They came up with the revised death toll based on a study. You know, facts, numbers, data? Something beyond simple claims of "incredible unsung success."

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Even better, I guess people can “un-die ” now.

Researchers make new assessments based on overlooked or new information that wasn't available previously. That's how science works.

Explain to me how Trump's assertions are better formulated or how they're not politically/egotistically motivated?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It’s just politically and economically beneficial to link as many deaths to this storm as possible.

Just because conservatives would do something repugnant like that doesn't mean everyone would.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

All the liberals want is to bring everything back to “but Trump”.

Like all criticisms, it started with Trump. HE used a natural disaster in which people died as an opportunity to boast. Just like his tweet telling us former mayor and current Trump personal lawyer Giuliani's "leadership, bravery and skill must never be forgotten. Rudy is a TRUE WARRIOR!" before even mentioning the victims of 9/11, his comments in the article show that he's completely tone deaf and only concerned with himself. The article and criticism isn't about the number of people that died, it's about the presidents complete lack of empathy.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It’s quite easy to verify the status of “dead”, pretty black and white there.

Black, you are being quite insensitive. Japan conducts fatality stats in quite a similar way. Let's say you're ill and a power outage prevents treatment, or that you've been drinking contaminated water, contract a disease, and die. These are indirect deaths from the hurricane, but if the hurricane had not happened, neither would have the deaths.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The only thing going through Little Donny DogDump's mind is, " Don't "those people" remember how i threw paper towels at them in their hour of need?"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He pumped his fists going to a memorial for people who died in the worst attack on the US. 

So what?

So what? It's tone deaf and repugnant to not act somber when going to a memorial service. Any adult with a shred of intelligence knows and understands this.

So we Puerto Rico is not responsible for some of that? As an Island nation everything bad that happens in on the mainland, but everything good that happens is on them? Yeah, in the liberal mind it makes sense.....I guess...

Puerto Rico had power before the storm. Trump either didn't know or didn't care. Very presidential.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Some damning criticism here about contracting preparations and relief to incompetent private firms who were obviously insiders.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/11/trump-scandal-hurricane-maria-puerto-rico

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Ok, that’s your opinion and?

My opinion and the opinion of any mature individual with an ounce of decency.

What? Oh, dear lord....

Your article supports my assertion that Puerto Rico had power before the storm. You're conflating the power company being insolvent with it not operating, which is what Trump did. Reading is difficult.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Wow great patronizing! Obama 'boasts' about anything and everything, even the bs of making the US economy better when it went heavily downhill, check the last 8 years financial data on NYSE whilst he was sleeping on the job if you have no idea of the stock market

Literacy is hard for conservatives:

In fact, the Dow’s rise was even more impressive under Obama if you start measuring at the market’s low point, on March 9, 2009, during the depths of the Great Recession. That day, the Dow closed at 6,547. Between then and Jan. 5 — a 10-month period — the Dow rose by a stunning 61 percent. That’s more than three times faster than Trump’s rise over the same period in his term.

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/jan/08/how-trump-obama-compare-stock-market/

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Thank trump for better stock market results, THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE

The truth is out there, in my previous post.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

So let's just change 64 to 3,000?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

One has to ask the question again and again - is this man of sound mind?

Just who is he trying to impress with these comments?

Almost 3000 people dead. I wonder would he be so jovial about 9/11.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Many Puerto Ricans still have no power, and in many places, there is no reliable source of water. This is in places that previously had both power and water. Most of what got done was done by contributing businesses and volunteers. Many Puerto Rican families who lost everything are now in Florida. In PR, a part of the USA, the fed did some work and mostly abandoned ship. A+ in nobody’s book, I think.

Now we have a hurricane headed for North Carolina and/or Virginia. It will be a giant storm. I wonder how the response will compare when a non-Spanish speaking area is hit?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I think about Hurricane Sandy, not a fine moment, wherecwas he again?

I was talking about the fist pump at crowds before a 911 memorial, but since you asked....

“He [Obama] has worked incredibly closely with me since before the storm hit.” - Then New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If Puerto Rico hurricane is what's now considered a success, I'd hate to see what's now considered a failure

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tomorrow it will be that a trump himself is directly responsible for this and all future hurricanes until the end of time.

Being a bit hyberbolic, aren't we?

He did pull the US out of the climate change accord, after all.

So he'll share a larger part of the responsibility than others for future hurricanes. Thanks for pointing out the science behind it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Man-child, I hear there's a bigger hurricane coming in November. It's going to hit Texas before leaving a massive trail of destruction across the rest of the country.

Jesus, he really IS giving himself A+. Was this just a lucky guess? : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZz34JtNrHA

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Above video, fast forward to 9:45

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It’s quite easy to verify the status of “dead”, pretty black and white there.

Oh, I get it now! You think hurricanes neatly stack the corpses of the people the hurricane killed. I'm not certain how natural disasters work in Puerto Rico, but they aren't kind enough here to clean up the bodies after they are done.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I can you you 2 dozen reasons.

backed by factual evidence, not made up innuendo and fake news, were waiting

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Trump and his shameless, debased, acolytes know that they can say, and do (but more likely not do) anything they like in relation to Puerto Rico because, given that the more than 3 million American 'citizens' living there have no voting rights and have no representation in the US government, there will be no blow -back at the ballot box.

So, I for one won't bother engaging the Trumpists here - everything that needed to be said has already been covered.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"everything that needed to be said has already been covered."

Nope. Here's what the Lt. Gov. of Puerto Rico has to say about this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYNlQJDnCr4

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

""If (Trump) doesn't learn from his mistakes, he's going to make them again and people are going to continue to die.""

About 70 years too late for that, sadly for the world. His own mother even detested him and knew he was garbage.

Gremlin: "Trump and his shameless, debased, acolytes know that they can say, and do (but more likely not do) anything they like"

What's amazing is that they actually convince themselves the lies are true, when they KNOW they are lies. That's how morally corrupt and incapable of having any backbone they are.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Don’t have a perfect number? So let’s just change “64” to “almost 3000” and hope no one questions that there are not 3000 people dead?

It’s quite easy to verify the status of “dead”, pretty black and white there.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Tomorrow it will be that a trump himself is directly responsible for this and all future hurricanes until the end of time. He did pull the US out of the climate change accord, after all.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

So we are just buying at face value that the number of deaths is now more than 3000? Well once the media decided to push the “revisions” in how it was calculated to support a political narrative.

We are also listening to our old friend the mayor of San Juan who was found to have lied about not having relief supplies?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Oh I am quite sure there is government funding linked a certain amount of money “per death”. Why do you think the Puerto Rican government commissioned (paid for) this study?

I am also sure that insurance payments are based on cause of death that as well.

Yes if 100 people are dead why would I only know 36 names? Do some people who died go their whole life without a name?

So you will only accept a number backed by a list of names that is backed by a list of bodies?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Uh no, actually not facts. A “study” huh?

“But the higher figure, based on the findings of researchers from George Washington University in a study commissioned by the US commonwealth's government, is only an approximation, not a concrete list of names, according to Gov. Ricardo Rossello.”

https://edition-m.cnn.com/2018/08/29/us/puerto-rico-growing-death-toll/index.html?r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.co.jp%2F

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

around 3 weeks ago the death toll from this storm was 64.

It’s just politically and economically beneficial to link as many deaths to this storm as possible.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Every time you ask yourself that, ask yourself how you and other conservatives would react if Obama did it. Try to be honest with yourself too.

I think about Hurricane Sandy, not a fine moment, wherecwas he again?

That's not what he was saying at all. He was saying that Trump is needlessly insulting to Puerto Ricans when they're hurting and boasting about the administration's response adds to the lack of class and empathy displayed.

You have to blame both the mayor and the governor of Puerto Rico, not to mention the Island had problems for years with poverty and infrastructure issues. But the president did what he could with the resources that he had with FEMA, no I will grant you he should’ve kept his mouth shut I should’ve instead of making some incendiary comments, but overall better than Bush

I can you you 2 dozen reasons.

I doubt it.

Ok, that’s your opinion but there are and I can, but for now let’s focus on this issue this isn’t about that man from Chicago.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

So what? It's tone deaf and repugnant to not act somber when going to a memorial service. Any adult with a shred of intelligence knows and understands this.

Ok, that’s your opinion and?

Puerto Rico had power before the storm. Trump either didn't know or didn't care. Very presidential.

What? Oh, dear lord....

http://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/353506-puerto-rico-was-a-disaster-long-before-maria-ravaged-the-island

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Even better, I guess people can “un-die ” now.

"This number can change," Rossello said. "It could be less, it could be more, as time passes."

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

All the liberals want is to bring everything back to “but Trump”.

Nothing to do with Trump. For 3000 people to be dead, 3000 people had to have existed that no longer exist. As they previously existed, they have names.

How can you estimate a death total that exceeds the number of people who no longer exist? Liberal math is how.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

He pumped his fists going to a memorial for people who died in the worst attack on the US. 

So what?

Then he told people that Florence was going to be tremendously wet. And followed that up by saying that Puerto Rico didn't have power before the hurricane last year, which meant his administration's response was great.

So we Puerto Rico is not responsible for some of that? As an Island nation everything bad that happens in on the mainland, but everything good that happens is on them? Yeah, in the liberal mind it makes sense.....I guess...

I really, really don't understand why people like this guy.

I can you you 2 dozen reasons.

-18 ( +2 / -20 )

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