Relief efforts that should have taken a day to begin took instead almost an entire week. Shipping supplies to the island was hampered by trump's refusal to exempt the Jones Act - necessary to allow cargo ships to deliver the bulk of needed goods - during the earliest days of this crisis. While there are military and FEMA response teams in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, they are too meager a presence compared to the scale of rescue and recovery required.
Compared to relief efforts for Houston (Harvey) and Florida (Irma), the response of the trump administration to Puerto Rico seems intentional negligence.
So, responding to all the harsh criticisms rising up as the national news outlets began covering Puerto Rico's recovery efforts, trump went and tweeted...
Basically accusing the Puerto Ricans of being lazy nobodies unwilling to save their own communities. Accusing Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz of partisanship, and accusing the "fake news" of established networks CNN and NBC of "disparaging the first responders" when those news channels are actually disparaging him.
And he's tweeting all this while going on yet another golfing weekend to one of his clubs. He's not on the ground, finding out first-hand how packed the hospitals and shelters are, how much damage needs to get picked up before any rebuilding can happen.
I lived through Irma as it smashed through Florida. I work in Bartow, and even with all of the emergency electrical crews and tree cutters helping out, this small town still has debris to pick up and parts of the surrounding county without power. And this is two weeks after that storm passed through. Try multiplying the damage and recovery of a small town with 20,000 to a large island with 3.5 million people, and then add onto that how Maria was more powerful than Irma.
There has long been this dread, ever since November 9th, of how a trump-led White House would respond to genuine crises. Up until now, most of the disasters of this trump Era have been self-inflicted. But now we're here: an honest to God national crisis of watching our territorial members Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands suffer through the aftermaths of a powerful hurricane season (which isn't over yet), and "trump goes golfing" replaces the "Nero fiddled while Rome burned" meme in the national consciousness.
The reports coming out now aren't good. There may be 16 confirmed deaths, but it is still far too early to know the final death toll because of the lack of power, food, clean water, and air conditioning. Hurricane Maria hit the entire island, and Puerto Rico has 3.5 million residents to account for.
Right now, this dog has done more for Puerto Rico than trump has.
It is clear trump does not care what is happening in Puerto Rico.
62 million of you voted for that.
God help us.