An incredible, unsung success

NPR does a fact check on that claim.

During an Oval Office briefing on preparations for Hurricane Florence, a reporter asked President Trump if there were lessons to be learned from the widely criticized FEMA response to Hurricane Maria last year in Puerto Rico. Trump’s response? In short: nothing to see here.

“The job that FEMA and law enforcement and everybody did, working along with the Governor in Puerto Rico, I think was tremendous,” Trump said in a lengthy answer that reprised his criticisms of the island’s pre-storm electric grid, credit problems and geography (that it’s an island). “I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success.”

He further claimed that “in a certain way, the best job we did was Puerto Rico, but nobody would understand that. I mean, it’s harder to understand.”

Trump’s argument, which he tweeted again this morning, is that because Puerto Rico was hit hard by two hurricanes in a row and already faced infrastructure and other challenges, the federal response was really quite good, despite residents going many months without power, food and water relief failing to get to those who needed it and a death toll that was recently revised upward into the thousands.

Perhaps he was trying to say it could have been worse, which is a more defensible claim. It’s hard to call months with no power and inadequate food and water supplies really quite good, much less tremendous and an unsung success.

As NPR’s Adrian Florido reported last month, the death toll for Hurricane Maria was just revised from 64 to 2,975.

Puerto Rico’s governor updated the island’s official death toll for victims of Hurricane Maria on Tuesday, hours after independent researchers from George Washington University released a study estimating the hurricane caused 2,975 deaths in the six months following the storm.

Jim Wright also has thoughts on the claim:

This morning Trump said: “We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan). We are ready for the big one that is coming!”

A Pluses.

That’s what he claims.

An A+ from … who?

From the families of the 3000 Puerto Ricans who died in Hurricane Maria? Is THAT who he got an A+ from?

Also, “inaccessible?”

Inaccessible? Puerto Rico isn’t some remote island in the South Pacific, hidden by perpetual storm, inhabited by 50 foot tall apes and dinosaurs from the Lost World. It’s a heavily populated U.S. territory, one of the largest islands in the Caribbean, a few hundred miles from the mainland. A day’s transit for a cargo ship — smack in the middle of one of the most heavily trafficked shipping lanes in the world. A hour’s flight for any modern jet. It’s easier to get to Puerto Rico than it is to certain parts of Utah, or Maine, or … South Carolina.


We moved all the supplies necessary for sustained WAR, all the way from America to Iraq and Afghanistan — and seriously, you think the electrical infrastructure in Puerto Rico is bad? Try Afghanistan. Inaccessible? For the United States of America? With all of our might, all of our resources, all of our capability, inaccessible? Really?

Dragons. It’s all about the dragons.

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