President Trump kicked off his trip to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico Tuesday simply by continuing to applaud his own federal government recovery efforts while simultaneously trying to downplay the devastation caused by Storm Maria, which has left 95 % of the island without power and much more than 50 percent without entry to clean water two weeks after producing landfall.
While âevery death is a horror,â Trump informed Puerto Rican officials, they âcan be very proudâ that only 16 deaths happen to be counted so far as a result of Maria. He or she compared the number with âa real catastropheâ such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which usually caused more than 1, 800 deaths when it slammed into Louisiana plus Alabama.
Itâs unclear what Mariaâs actual death toll will end up getting, as the hurricane wrecked lines associated with communication throughout much of the isle. And many people there are still struggling to obtain potable water and other basic products.
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Trumpâs comparison of the 2 deadly storms was among a number of freewheeling comments he made in a briefing with local officials, Oughout. S. military personnel and other federal government relief workers. Trump spent a lot of the briefing issuing effusive congrats to response teams and people of his Cabinet, while incorporating in a few not-so-subtle digs at the Oughout. S. territory.
âI hate to tell you Puerto Rico, but youâve thrown our budget a little out of whack,â Trump mentioned. âWeâve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, but itâs fine.â
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A number of Puerto Rican officials were in attendance, which includes San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, whose criticisms of the federal government aid to Puerto Rico produced her the subject of several angry Trump tweets over the weekend. But only individuals with positive things to say about the federal government response to Maria were given a chance to talk.
For example, Trump singled out Jenniffer Gonzalez, Puerto Ricoâs nonvoting person in the U. S. House associated with Representatives for saying âsuch nice thingsâ in regards to the federal response, and called on her behalf â? by her first title â? to repeat some of those wonderful things in front of the cameras Tuesday.
. @realDonaldTrump leadership making the to help Puerto Rico recover, our own people thank you! And I thank you for your own call today
â? Jenniffer GonzÃ¡lez (@Jenniffer2012) September 27, 2017
Before proceeding to tour some of the harm to San Juan, Trump ended the particular briefing by thanking the Puerto Rican officials for their support plus, essentially, telling them: Youâre allowed.
âI know you appreciate our support because our countryâs really gone all out to help,â he said. âItâs not only dangerous, itâs expensive, itâs everything. But I consider it a great honor, maybe because I know so many people from Puerto Rico. Iâm from New York.â
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