Trump and his administration have failed in aiding Puerto Rico


Julie Norris

Tina Hollen is not a fan of President Trump’s handling of Puerto Rico.

Tina Hollen, Student Contributor

On September 5, category five storm Hurricane Irma barely missed Puerto Rico. This stroke of luck was short lived though, as in fifteen days another storm would hit, this one a category four hurricane, Maria.  

Hurricane Maria left the island practically in ruins, flattening homes and reducing buildings to rubble. Along with this destruction came widespread flooding and worst of all, the loss of power in all of Puerto Rico. This hurricane basically devastated the island, an island which is established as U.S territory, and contains 3.4 million U.S. citizens.

And how did the leader of our nation respond? He certainly did nothing to help morale, but instead talked down on the territory and its leaders, and, of course, one cannot forget or avoid, his tweeted about it.

Almost all of Puerto Rico is without power. No electricity means no power to pump water into homes, no water to bathe or flush toilets, and most importantly no water filtration systems, meaning the conditions Puerto Ricans are living in, U.S. citizens I may add, are practically those of a third world country. As of October 16, 72% of people on the island’s water services had their services restored, but there are still significant concerns about the safety of that water and the shortages of it on the island.

In addition to loss of power and shortage of water, there is also a real concern about food. The Guardian reported on October 11 that FEMA says the government is providing 200,000 meals a day but also shortfalling at least 2 million more. All in all, the condition in Puerto Rico is extremely poor, and It could be months or years before the island recovers.

Mr. Trump Sir, with all due respect delete your twitter.”

While Puerto Rico is in shambles, the U.S., Congress particularly, has been sending some aid. There have been 14,300 troops deployed to help, along with 68 helicopters, according to numbers on CNN. FEMA has also been aiding with meals and other necessary means of life. But the president is not responsible for these efforts. What Mr. Trump has been doing rather, is tweeting. Four days after the devastating storm hit Puerto Rico Donald Trump started a feud with professional athletes. To clarify this once again, the president of the United States did not address the problem in Puerto Rico; instead, he started a war with athletes of all people. Not only this, but when he did actually address the problem in Puerto Rico he basically attacked them and their financial status saying,

“Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making.” says Sharyl Attkisson. 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!”

Instead of sending more support or empathy towards the recently devastated islands, he blames them for their financial and infrastructure status pre-hurricane and even talks about accountability. As if this lack of compassion weren’t enough, he additionally tries to make the argument to pull the only help Puerto Rico is getting.

Even if we were to ignore all these stupid and ignorant claims, the fact that he is tweeting about it is just astounding. Puerto Rico barely has power, let alone any service to connect to the internet, and even see what’s going on. Yet for some reason, he still finds the need to tweet in reference to them.

Mr. Trump Sir, with all due respect delete your twitter. You are the figurehead of a great, powerful, free nation. It is time you act like it.

In conclusion, when a bad occurrence happens, people are quick to lend a hand, whether that be physically or emotionally. Trump in this case did neither. Congress is to thank for the help Puerto Rico is getting and Trump is to thank for the comments on bashing the impoverished island, seen especially on twitter. This handling of Puerto Rico is just one of many examples that have already occurred and will continue to happen as we continue with Trump’s presidency.

Leaders inspire, pick others up, make people feel good about a cause. Trump does exactly the opposite. He tears people down with comments that attack them, blames them for their own misfortune, and then, like the terrible leader he is, tries to pull the help these people so desperately need. Which is why I say that Trump has failed, in all aspects, of helping Puerto Rico.  And that is why he will, in these next three years, continue to fail America as a leader.