The shameful truth about Puerto Rico
The New York Times
President Trump should not get “a pass on Puerto Rico,” said Mekela Panditharatne. George W. Bush’s presidency cratered in the wake of his botched response to Hurricane Katrina, yet Trump has managed to avoid a “presidency-defining censure” over his administration’s negligent response to Hurricane Maria. A new study by researchers from George Washington University has concluded that about 2,975 people died as result of the storm—not the 64 claimed by Trump—which is a far greater death toll than Katrina’s and equivalent to that of the 9/11 attacks. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has admitted it was short thousands of workers to deal with a catastrophe on Maria’s scale, and took too long to respond. In the nine days after the hurricane, FEMA provided Puerto Rico with about a third of the meals and half as much water as it gave to Texas after Hurricane Harvey. Trump, meanwhile, was “largely out of the picture,” showing up to praise himself and throw rolls of paper towels to a crowd. “Trump has defied many dogmas in politics,” but he should not be absolved of responsibility for the humanitarian disaster of Puerto Rico.