When you wake up in the middle of the night, in search of the bathroom, your phone’s flashlight might save you a stubbed toe or a cut on your knee as you walk by the coffee table. For doctors in Puerto Rico, however, cellphone flashlights have helped them save lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. That’s according to a photo tweeted by former Puerto Rico governor Alejandro García Padilla on Friday evening, as a response to a certain golfer-in-chief’s comments.
As, unfortunately, most things to do with the aftermath of the hurricane that tore through Puerto Rico in September do, this goes back to Donald Trump. Last week, Trump said he would give himself “a 10” for how his administration has handled the relief efforts in Puerto Rico; shockingly, he meant that out of 10, which means he believes his delay in sending additional aid to the island and his public fight with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz have been part of a perfect reaction. That’s where García Padilla stepped in to show just how much work still needs to be done on the island.
It must be continuously said: Despite Trump’s unearned pride in his work on the island, 84 percent of Puerto Rico is still without stable electricity, more than a month since Maria. The problems are compounded, a domino effect of tragedy; as Vox explained, lack of electricity leads to other, significant health crises. Unclean water can’t be boiled by electric burners to decontaminate it, and clean water can’t be pumped into the homes on the island. This has led to the spread of diseases that come from drinking contaminated water, such as leptospirosis, and dehydration.
While this was a natural disaster crisis of unprecedented magnitude, it is possible that Puerto Rico would be in better shape with an appropriate response from the mainland. As Trump sits and congratulates himself on a job well done, the reality of the situation is that many Puerto Ricans have no access to life-saving treatment, or even basic human necessities like clean water. Never mind giving Trump a 10 out of 10; even the 10 out of 100 that Yulín Cruz gave him would be a stretch.