Donald Trump and Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

Photo via Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr Ricardo Mangual/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) Western Area Power/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (CC-BY) Remix by Jason Reed

Trump’s Twitter silence about Puerto Rico’s devastation is deafening

He did tweet about sports over a dozen times this weekend, though.


Jessica Machado

Layer 8

Posted on Sep 25, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 4:25 pm CDT

It has been five days since Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico. Thirteen people have died. All of the island nation is without power and may remain so for up to six months. Around 70,000 people living in the Guajatacata River’s floodplain have been forced to evacuate their homes. According to Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez, the destruction will set the country back “nearly 20 to 30 years.”

So, where is President Donald Trump?

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, meaning its 3.4 million people are citizens of the United States. While the Pentagon said it has dispatched members of Army Corps engineers—4,000 Army Reserve members have been also deployed to the country, along with 1,600 Nation Guard members, according to FEMA—Trump hasn’t said much about Puerto Rico since the hurricane first hit on Wednesday. He instead spent his weekend tweeting over a dozen times about sports figures and kneeling for the flag, interspersed with threats to North Korea and insults to senators who don’t want to repeal Obamacare.

Many are calling out Trump—who expressed concern for the victims of recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida but who, in general, has not shown much respect for people of color—for his silence. One detractor, in particular, was Hillary Clinton.

Also, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

And actors like Mark Ruffalo.

And then there were the reporters and citizens waiting for a response—but who also weren’t too surprised that hadn’t been one over the weekend.

A White House official told CNN on Friday that Trump “is committed to going, but date is still unclear,” adding, “as you note, there are significant infrastructure concerns.”

As of Monday morning, Trump was still parsing the worth of sports figures and fans on Twitter.

Share this article
*First Published: Sep 25, 2017, 10:19 am CDT