In just three tweets on Saturday morning, Donald Trump managed to make the Puerto Rico disaster about himself, to imply that Puerto Ricans are lazy, that the disaster is their problem, and to launch a subtly sexist attack against San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz–who’s been lauded as a hero–calling her mayday call (of course, a personal attack on Trump) “nasty.”
This follows Cruz’s tearful plea to the government to help on Friday, standing in front of palettes of food and water donated by other people. Cruz said:
I will do what I never thought I was going to do. I am begging. Begging anyone who can hear us to save us from dying. If anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying. And you are killing us with the inefficiency.
If food and water does not arrive in time, she says the disaster will amount to something “close to a genocide.”
Nearly all of Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million residents are without power, and many without cell service, food, or water. As of Friday, there were 4,000 troops with reportedly more on the way. But on Wednesday, an army veteran told NPR that Puerto Rico needs 50,000. 10,000 people remain in shelters, ABC News reports. Many can’t make it to hospitals, CNN reports.
On Friday, the acting head of Homeland Security Elaine Duke called the federal response “really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane.”
Trump, weirdly, called “the results...with respect to the loss of life” “incredible” and “successful.”
The official count is 16, though locals suspect that that number is much higher when taking into account, for example, people on life support who died when the power cut out.
He says he’ll go Tuesday.