Anytime President Donald Trump takes to Twitter, many know to expect messages that will make their blood boil. Today, Donald Trump did that and more when he tried to rewrite the facts regarding Puerto Rico’s death toll by presenting his own twisted version of reality.
Two weeks after the Puerto Rican government acknowledged that the death toll was 2,975 – far higher than the original 16 and the updated 64, which stood as the official count for months – Trump denied that the new number reflected hurricane-related deaths. “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” he wrote at 5:37 a.m. “When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time, later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…”
But, of course, this is incorrect. Puerto Ricans long knew that the government’s official count was way off. As a matter of fact, just recently, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor revealed how she knew this number was wrong. “He wasn’t a part of the 64,” Sotomayor said about a relative who died after the storm on ABC’s The View. “And we knew many others who weren’t either.”
After the first insulting message, Trump followed it up with another 10 minutes later: “…..This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!”
However, as anyone who’s closely followed the aftermath of the storm knows, Trump has treated Puerto Rico with anything but respect. Not only did it take him days to acknowledge the plight of people across the island, when he finally made his way to Puerto Rico, he threw paper towels at survivors. He consistently focused on Puerto Rico’s infrastructure and debt and offered little in the way of sympathy or help. This week, news broke that ahead of this year’s hurricane season, the Trump Administration allocate nearly $10 million of Federal Emergency Management Agency’s budget toward Immigration and Customs Enforcement. While FEMA says it has “plenty of resources” to respond to people in the Carolinas, it’s enough cause for concern for Puerto Ricans, who are still recovering from last year’s storm, during this year’s season.