President Trump views the destruction during his visit to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Harvey
The dissonance in validating the federal response to humanitarian issues faced by hurricane devastated Puerto Rico escalated Monday as the Island’s former Governor of Alejandro García Padilla swiped President Trump on Twitter following comments the President made commending the United States’ relief efforts on the island.
Padilla questioned Trump’s rating of his performance as a “10,” showing a group of surgeons operating on a patient using only light from their cell phones and flashlights more than one month after Hurricane Maria.
It’s unclear where the photo, which has been widely circulated on Twitter, originated from. The backlash gained momentum as users retweeted the image. A number of Twitter users also shared their own outrage over the lack of aid Puerto Rico has received in the weeks since the hurricane.
Many were quick to point out that about 28% of the island is still without running water. Nearly 90% of the island is without electricity.
While meeting withe current governor last Thursday, Trump gives himself a ‘10’ for Puerto Rico hurricane response. The president rather smugly himself rated his own performance with maximum marks last week while responding to questions by the media about his handling of recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.
“I would give myself a 10” out of 10, Trump said when asked how he would score his response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria.
“I think we’ve done a really great job and we’ve had tremendous cooperation from the governor and we are getting there and people are really seeing the effort that’s been put into Puerto Rico,” Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.
The self-applied high marks are at odds with what critics say was a bungled response by federal officials in the wake of the Category 5 storm. which was exacerbated by the president’s tweet of last week that Washington can not keep giving aid to Puerto Rico “forever.”
According to the general reports by residents and observers, as of the second week in October, 80% of the island has no electricity and large areas are still without access to clean water nearly a month after the storm hit.
Former Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla slammed Donald Trump on Twitter for claiming the his recovery efforts on the island were a “10”, during his meeting with the Island’ current Gov Ricardo Rossello, [left], at the oval office, on Oct 19
Supporters of the devastated island chime in – 84% of Puerto Rico is w/o power. 28% w/o running water. Yesterday, a surgery was conducted by cellphone light. An affront to humanity.
We are in Niger to teach them human rights, John Kelly says, as doctors perform surgery by cellphone light in Puerto Rico – Eric Holthause
Trump, often quick to respond to critics on Twitter, has yet to take aim at Padilla.
On Oct. 19, however, he gave himself a hearty pat on the back for his handling of recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.
“I would give myself a 10,” he said.
“I think we’ve done a really great job and we’ve had tremendous cooperation from the governor and we are getting there and people are really seeing the effort that’s been put into Puerto Rico.”
A week prior, Trump tweeted that Washington couldn’t continue to help Puerto Rico “forever.”
Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz : “Well, if it is a 10 out of a scale of 100, of course,” Cruz told CNN “It is still a failing grade.”
Around the same time, Gov. Rosselló announced an expanded death toll of 48.
“In the emergencies, things might have the appearance that they are stabilizing at one point, but you always have future problems that can arise such as public health emergencies and otherwise,” Rosselló said.
While Rosselló carefully evaded trashing Trump during the conversation with reporters, Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz has been clear in how unhappy she is with Trump’s response to the devastating natural disaster.
“I think it’s conduct unbecoming of a leader of the free world,” she said on NBC on Oct. 13 referencing Trump’s early tweets seemingly blaming Puerto Rican citizens for how things unfolded.