Some are saying that Trump has not botched the relief effort in Puerto Rico (Newsflash: He’s botched it horribly), but even if that were true, he’s doing worse than botching the PR for it. Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 20. On the 22nd, he decided to go golfing for four days, and rage-tweeted at the NFL the whole time. Then he rage-tweeted at the “ingrates” in Puerto Rico who aren’t showing him the proper appreciation for what he’s not doing. Today, he was at the Presidents Cup golf tournament, avoiding real work and participating in the trophy presentation instead.
And while he was there, he decided to dedicate the trophy to the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. According to Steve Kopack of CNBC, Trump said that conditions in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico are “really under control,” and that he was dedicating the trophy to victims of storms:
For those asking, President Trump was speaking on @GolfChannel’s coverage of the Presidents Cup trophy presentation.
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) October 1, 2017
Here are his own words:
“On behalf of all of the people of Texas, and all of the people — if you look today and see what is happening, how horrible it is but we have it under really great control — Puerto Rico and the people of Florida who have really suffered over this last short period of time with the hurricanes, I want to just remember them.
And we’re going to dedicate this trophy to all of those people that went through so much that we love — a part of our great state, really part of our great nation.”
Because a trophy is seriously what they need right now. Forget disaster relief funds, forget personnel and equipment. Forget food, water and medicine. Forget restoring electricity and communications. What they really need a participation trophy, which is what this amounts to for all the good it’ll do.
The relief effort is disastrously inadequate in Puerto Rico, where people are starting to suffer from Dengue fever, viral conjunctivitis and Zika. They’re at increasing risk for cholera due to the lack of clean drinking water. In fact, the number of people without access to clean drinking water has shot from 44 percent to 55 percent between Wednesday and yesterday, and will continue to rise until we actually get our butts moving with the relief effort there.
Furthermore, the contaminated floodwaters are putting Puerto Ricans at risk for hepatitis A, meningitis and salmonella, even if they don’t drink it.
This isn’t just a meaningless gesture, it’s damned insulting. You don’t dedicate a goddamn trophy, presented at a tournament full of wealthy people who are safe in their well-moneyed cocoons, to hurricane victims. You just don’t. It wouldn’t be surprising to start hearing more outcry from homeless, sick, and suffering Puerto Ricans – people who are already angry at the lack of response from Trump’s administration and his characterization of them as lazy all over Twitter.