As his team braces for Hurricane Florence to hit the United States east coast on Thursday (local time), Trump defended himself in the face of ongoing criticism of his administration's responses to previous hurricanes, including Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in September, 2017.
Puerto Rico's governor raised the U.S. territory's official death toll from Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2,975 after an independent study found the number of people who died in the aftermath had been severely under-counted.
The report came almost a year after a much-maligned visit to Puerto Rico by Trump two weeks after Maria, where he implied that residents should be "proud" that the official death toll at the time was just 16 people, far lower than that of a "real catastrophe, like Katrina". He went on to accuse Democrats of inflating the numbers to make him look bad. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. "Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!" he wrote.
People online were aghast that the president would somehow blame Democrats for an accurate death toll being reported.
Throughout his presidency, Trump has struggled to publicly express empathy at times of national crises, sparking outrage during his post-Maria visit when he feuded with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz and tossed out paper towels to victims like he was shooting baskets.
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John McCain. And Navarro has been absolutely livid about Trump's recent claims that the 2975 death toll in Puerto Rico is merely a Democratic Party fabrication.
There are also no state or federal guidelines in the U.S. for calculating storm or hurricane-related deaths.
Around 1.7 million people had been ordered to evacuate, airlines cancelled more than 1,000 flights to the area, and up to three million homes and businesses were expected to lose power.
In January, Cora led a Red Sox delegation to Puerto Rico to distribute aid. "I ask the president to recognize the magnitude of Hurricane Maria and continue working with my government to ensure a full recovery of the American citizens of Puerto Rico".
Trump's tweets are not only disrespectful to the lives lost in Puerto Rico; they also assert a well-known trait of the president: no matter the tragedy, everything is always about him.
This "issue" was not on my radar until one of my kids texted in a family chat: "Is trump off his rocker with this Puerto Rico death toll stuff?" His entire campaign was centered around his endorsement by Trump, which was based on the numerous Trump-boosting appearances DeSantis has made on Fox News in recent years.