Trump calls 3,000 dead in Puerto Rico an 'unsung success'


Trump once again downplayed the tragedy of his administration's failure in Puerto Rico, where 2,975 people died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Nearly 3,000 Americans died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria and the Trump administration's horribly botched response to it — yet Trump had the gall to describe that response as "an incredible, unsung success."

In a Tuesday press conference related to Hurricane Florence's imminent landfall, Trump took the time to praise himself and give his administration high marks for its past hurricane responses.

"I think Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success," Trump said. "Texas we've been given A-pluses for. Florida we've been given A-pluses for."

Puerto Rico's official death toll for those who perished in the hurricane or its aftermath recently increased to 2,975 people.

Puerto Ricans are American citizens, and the Trump administration utterly failed to do enough to help them. The island territory was without power for months on end. Trailers full of food, water, and medicine were left to rot. Millions of tax dollars were wasted on equipment that never arrived.

And during the recovery effort, Trump regularly attacked San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and belittled the people of Puerto Rico.

In a widely-mocked photo-op on the island, Trump tossed paper towels into the crowd, as if the recovery was some kind of game.

Immediately after the official death toll was raised to almost 3,000 people, Trump said, "I think we did a fantastic job with Puerto Rico."

Trump is constantly praising his own failed efforts, no matter how much evidence exists of their failure. But brushing off the immense tragedy in Puerto Rico like Trump did, and even patting himself on the back for it, is especially shocking.

Trump's high opinion of himself and the relief effort is not shared by many.

"The administration killed the Puerto Ricans with neglect," Cruz said in August after the updated death toll was announced. "Shame on President Trump for not even once, not even yesterday, just saying, 'Look, I grieve with the people of Puerto Rico.'"

Trump started his day remembering some of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the September 11th terror attacks. But he ended the day insulting the nearly 3,000 Puerto Ricans who died on his watch.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.