(h/t Lambert Strether @ Naked Capitalism)
Trump to Puerto Rico- Drop Dead!
Trump Warns Storm-Ravaged Puerto Rico That Aid Won’t Last ‘Forever’
By PETER BAKER and CAITLIN DICKERSON, The New York Times
OCT. 12, 2017
The message was as stark as it was startling. Three weeks after a killer hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico, President Trump indicated on Thursday that he was losing patience. At least some of the blame for the continuing crisis is yours, he told the island territory, and the federal government will not stay “forever.”
While most residents endured another day without power and many without water or other basic services, Mr. Trump upbraided Puerto Rico’s leadership for mismanagement that predated the storm and said troops and emergency workers would eventually leave. Caught off guard, his advisers scrambled to reassure Puerto Rico that Washington was not abandoning it.
Mr. Trump, who has been criticized for a slow and not always empathetic response to the storms that devastated Puerto Rico, sought to refocus responsibility to where he believes it belongs.
“ ‘Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making.’ says Sharyl Attkisson,” he wrote on Twitter, citing the host of a public affairs show on Sinclair Broadcast Group television stations. “A total lack of accountability say the Governor. Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes. Congress to decide how much to spend. We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!”
Kirstjen Nielsen, in accepting Mr. Trump’s nomination to succeed Mr. Kelly as secretary of homeland security, added her own soothing words. “I also know that this rebuilding will take years, and I want to echo what the president has said many times: We will remain fully engaged in the long recovery effort ahead of us,” she said in the East Room.
But Mr. Trump did not say that on Thursday, even given the opportunity to clarify at the ceremony formally announcing Ms. Nielsen’s nomination. Instead, his message provoked another wave of criticism from the island and its supporters. They expressed astonishment that Mr. Trump would assail the very people he was supposed to be assisting, in contrast to the tone he has taken with Florida and Texas, where National Guard troops and Federal Emergency Management Agency workers are also still helping with hurricane recovery.
Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan who has been critical of Mr. Trump’s response and rebuked by him in return, condemned his latest message as adding “insult to injury” and called on international organizations to step in to prevent “the genocide that will result from” Mr. Trump’s inaction.
“Tweet away your hate to mask your administration’s mishandling of this humanitarian crisis,” she said, addressing the president. “While you are amusing yourself throwing paper towels at us, your compatriots and the world are sending love and help our way. Condemn us to a slow death of nondrinkable water, lack of food, lack of medicine while you keep others eager to help from reaching us.”
Three weeks after Hurricane Maria hit, 83 percent of the island was still without power, 36 percent had no running water and 45 percent was without telecommunication services.
Hospitals are operating on generator power, which is expensive and unreliable. Although 86 percent of supermarkets are now open, the government could not ensure that they were fully stocked. And major roadways have been cleared of debris, but many Puerto Ricans are still relying on FEMA for food and water delivered to neighborhoods by local governments.
Trump sparks new backlash after threatening Puerto Rico aid
By MATTHEW NUSSBAUM and LOUIS NELSON, Politico
Donald Trump on Thursday suggested that U.S. citizens on the hurricane-ravaged island of Puerto Rico shouldn’t get used to assistance from the federal government — a statement that sparked new outrage and left the White House on the defensive.
“Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes,” Trump wrote on Twitter in a series of posts. “Congress to decide how much to spend. We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!”
Trump has come under fire for appearing to blame Puerto Rico for neglecting its infrastructure and financial health in recent years, while sparring with local officials and initially giving the U.S. territory less attention than hurricane victims in Texas and Florida.
The tweets on Thursday — which landed as nearly 90 percent of the island was still without power and nearly 40 percent of residents lack access to clean drinking water — particularly touched a nerve.
“It is not that you do not get it; you are incapable of fulfilling the moral imperative to help the people of PR. Shame on you.![sic]” Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, wrote on Twitter. In recent weeks, she has been a target of severe criticism from Trump, who dismissed her and other critics as “politically motivated ingrates.”
Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, sought a less fiery path, writing on Twitter: “The U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are requesting the support that any of our fellow citizens would receive across our Nation.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a news conference that Trump’s broadside “is heartbreaking and it lacks knowledge.”
Two other Democrats, Reps. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) and Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), even asked the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the possible underreporting of deaths caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
The concern was not contained to Democrats. House Speaker Paul Ryan echoed Trump’s comment that the island needs fiscal reforms, but suggested now was not the time for that debate.
“At the moment, and it’s why I’m going down there tomorrow, there’s a humanitarian crisis that needs to be attended to and this is an area where the federal government has a responsibility, and we’re acting on it,” Ryan said.
Puerto Rico has struggled with the devastation from a particularly heavy hurricane season, one that included a direct hit from Hurricane Maria late last month that devastated large swaths of the island. The official death toll from the storm has risen to 45, CNN reported Wednesday, and at least 113 people are unaccounted for.
Reports of desperation are piling up, including from federal government officials. The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday warned Puerto Rican residents against breaking into industrial waste sites in search of drinking water. And The New York Times reported that medical care remains a challenge on the island, with just 43 of the island’s 72 open hospitals currently operating with power.
Still, Trump has asserted that his administration’s handling of the storm has been a great success, and he has rejected any criticism of the effort as “fake news.”
Why? Why are these UNITED STATES CITIZENS being treated more poorly than their fellow citizens in Texas and Florida?
Could it be because they are Brown and speak Spanish?
This is not stupidity or inexperience, it is evil. Donald John Trump is a flat out racist.