A monkey walks over the rubble left in the wake of Hurricane Maria on Cayo Santiago, known as Monkey Island, in Puerto Rico. Photo: Ramon Espinosa / AP Photo

By Paige Winfield Cunningham
16 October 2017

(The Washington Post) – The government's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico — and how Americans perceive it — perfectly illustrates how President Trump puts his administration on the defense by failing to tame his tweets.

The United States has dispatched to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands more than 19,000 military and civilian personnel who are working around the clock to restore electricity, distribute supplies and care for the injured, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That adds up to a pretty strong response to an extremely challenging situation, relief experts say.

But you wouldn’t know that if you just listened to Trump talk about the island and its inhabitants, millions of whom remain without electricity and telephone communications in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

The president has blundered his way through his response to the widespread wreckage crippling the territory, alternating between playing down the disaster, portraying it as an inconvenience and, last week, even threatening that federal assistance can’t continue to the island forever.

Trump, on the defensive about seeming to not do enough for the American citizens on the island, appeared to place the blame on them last Thursday. [more]

The Health 202: Trump has badly undercut his own administration on Puerto Rico

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