“Look, we had a tragedy,” Trump opined from the White House lawn. “What happened is in many ways a miracle. The police department has done an incredible job.”
“And we’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by,” the president said with a dismissive wave of his hand.
Trump went on to say that his administration’s hurricane recovery efforts had been “just as good” in Puerto Rico as they had been after an earlier hurricane in Florida.
Over 500 people wounded, over 60 dead, a shooting that only stopped when the shooter committed suicide before the police could get in the room, and "What happened is in many ways a miracle"? "The police department has done an incredible job"? At what? Rounding up the nearly 2 dozen guns he had in the room? Tracking down family members? Finding explosives at his house?
Isn't that simply routine police work?
As for that claim about Puerto Rico and Florida: no. Just: no:
Two weeks after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, the situation on the island remains dire: Only 5 percent of the electrical grid has been repaired, only 17 percent of cellphone towers are working, and more than half of residents don't have running water.
But the Federal Emergency Management Agency has not authorized every disaster response tool it has at its disposal — including aid for more permanent repairs on the island's roads, bridges, water control facilities, public utilities, and government buildings. FEMA authorized this level of aid for Texas 10 days after Hurricane Harvey flooded the Houston area with 4.5 feet of rain.
Trump could authorize that aid, could direct FEMA to start making repairs. He hasn't done so. There's no indication he will do so.
On September 4, 10 days after Harvey flooded the Texas coast, FEMA authorized the category C-G response for 27 counties in the state, including the Houston area. A few days later, it agreed to fund 90 percent of those costs, instead of the standard 75 percent. The current rebuilding efforts includes restoring city parks, public buildings, roads, and bridges that were damaged by the excessive rain and flooding in the area.
On Wednesday, it will be two weeks since Hurricane Maria inflicted even worse damage on Puerto Rico. FEMA has yet to authorize the same level of response. President Trump doesn't seem inclined to do more for the island, possibly because of the enormous cost: There are no official damage estimates yet, but fixing the electric grid alone will cost billions of dollars, according to the Department of Energy.
Puerto Rico is in no position to rebuild on its own. The island's government is broke, and declared a form of bankruptcy in May. Puerto Rico can no longer borrow money and will probably need the US government to pay most of its reconstruction costs.
But Puerto Rico has "debt," and they want things "done for them."
What kind of monster have we put in high office?