Trump Ignores Puerto Rico

Jane Maiocco, Staff Writer

President Donald Trump’s apathy for Puerto Rico was demonstrated when, instead of showing compassion for the U.S. territory that has just been battered by a catastrophic hurricane, he started a twitter war with professional athletes, further polarizing the American people.

It proves Trump cares more about creating controversy and staying in the headlines than he does about performing his presidential duties.

Trump’s only immediate response to Hurricane Maria was a brief tweet that read, “Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble.” Rather than provide hope to a desperate people, Trump decided to criticize them.

Trump has chosen not to immediately visit Puerto Rico, though in the days following Harvey and Irma, he swooped in to Texas and Florida congratulate himself on location.

In this instance however, Trump is more interested in stirring up division by attacking professional athletes.

It began with Trumps targeting of NBA star Stephen Curry, who has made it known that he does not wish to visit the White House for the traditional presidential congratulations extended to championship teams. Trump tweeted, “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

LeBron James, who has been one of Curry’s greatest rivals on the basketball court, came out in support of the Warrior’s socially conscious star by calling Trump a “bum” in his own tweet.

Trump is essentially ignoring victims of Hurricane Maria, choosing to focus now on the practice of kneeling for the national anthem by some NFL players who wish to bring attention to racist law enforcement practices.

Thanks to Trump, the severity of the tragedy in Puerto Rico has been over shadowed by his belittling of another serious issue.

The consequences of Trump’s tone def, backwards priorities is an unfortunate lack of interest on the part of the American public for Puerto Rico relief funding. While Hurricanes Harvey and Irma relief topped $222 million, according to the US Chamber of Commerce, donations to the most recent hurricane relief efforts is a modest 8.1 million.

Federal Emergency Management Agency reported that 10,000 federal personnel were helping in Puerto Rico. As for the hurricanes in Texas and Florida, there were collectively over 70,000 federal personnel assigned to help with disaster relief.

TrumpThe fact that there are millions of U.S. citizens in great distress should be the first priority of the president. NFL players protesting and NBA players not visiting his house should be the least of his concerns while Puerto Rico residents struggle to put their lives back together in the aftermath of catastrophe.