President Trump’s handling of Puerto Rico was disappointing

This month will be one year since Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico. Yet, the most powerful man in the world still seems to not know the reality of the situation, calling the handling of hurricane relief in Puerto Rico an “unsung success.”

As a Puerto Rican, his statements are beyond disrespectful to me and many other families that lost people during the months following the disaster and death of nearly 3,000 Puerto Ricans. This wasn’t a success.

From this point on, the leader of the free world needs to know his place as a leader and consoler, especially through future natural disasters.

President Donald J. Trump has loudly disputed the estimated death toll numbers released by George Washington University, which was 2,975. That number is not some product of a “magic” trick or political tool. There are scientific reasons as to why the number is that high, as explained by Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello. It’s disrespectful to dismiss the thousands of people who passed, and the more that were affected, just to make yourself look as if you’re not the bad guy.

The estimated number released by George Washington University was a combination of numbers during the hurricane and after the hurricane, ranging from death due to starvation, the following heat wave, and other after effects. FEMA Administrator Brock Long’s claim that the study used indirect causes like car crashes, people falling off of their roofs, and spousal abuse is not correct. To dispute this, to dispute science and research, seems irresponsible from two leaders.

The neglect and disrespect of the people were on display during the President’s October 2 visit. He threw supplies at civilians in an airport hangar as if it was a game. It seemed like a loss of civility through their hardest time. He toured the island and said that they should be proud that only 16 people had died. That is definitely a comment you should not say after a massive category four storm just hit an already struggling island. Just his rhetoric throughout the process was neglectful and disrespectful.

There were so many things wrong with how Puerto Rico was handled. The dismissing rhetoric, the ignoring of facts, and a disrespectful visit were just three.

There are lessons to be learned from this. The federal government, FEMA, the government of Puerto Rico, and the people of Puerto Rico need to be more prepared in the future for a massive hurricane to hit them. A disaster like this should never happen again.

However, the handling of Puerto Rico was sad. They are Americans and we need to take care of them too. We, as Americans, can do much better to help those in need after a tragic disaster. President Trump’s handling of this situation was scary. And embarrassing. And disrespectful. And sad. Americans need to stand with Puerto Rico as they are still recovering from the hurricane.