A vocal cheese-fried golf ball who’s been tweeting bitterly from a golf course all weekend may have helped Puerto Rico after all. Trump’s whining, self-aggrandizing remarks to San Juan’s mayor on Saturday received wall-to-wall slams, a Kim Kardashian tweet, and an SNL spoof, all of which happened to synch with a surge in donations–not unlike record giving to the ACLU after executive orders. Possibly as a big f-you, possibly because the situation is so dire.
Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda, who told Trump that he was “going straight to hell” on Saturday, has been fundraising for the Hispanic Federation via MoveOn; by Sunday evening, MoveOn’s executive director reported a record of over $1.3 million raised in seven hours. Mercy Corps spokeswoman Lynn Hector told USA Today that she’s seen “an uptick in web traffic and spontaneous donations” since the rant. Governor Ricardo A. Rosselló has reported “a surge of aid” to the New York Times and said that, while more is needed, the administration “has answered and has complied with our petitions in an expedited manner.” Meanwhile a former US foreign disaster assistance chief Jeremy Konyndyk says that after reading the Washington Post’s report on the relief efforts, he’s “so mad he could spit,” and calls the administration’s delayed response “malpractice.”
Early responder Jennifer Lopez, who has family there, gave $1 million, and Daddy Yankee, who lives there, has sent enough to Feed America to feed 9,000 families. Civilian efforts have sprung up across major cities.
On Fox News Sunday, FEMA Director Brock Long responded to criticism of federal aid efforts–for example, by Mayor Cruz, who blamed the bureaucracy for stalling progress–telling Fox News that getting aid to the island is “the most logistically challenging event that the United States has ever seen.” The internet replied with reminders of “logistical challenges” like the international space station, which still manages to get food.
Long did contradict Trump’s tweets on Sunday, saying that Puerto Ricans are “pulling their weight.” He says that 24/7 efforts are being made to restore power and distribute food and water.
ABC News reports that relief is finally starting to reach the island, with $7 million of assistance provided by FEMA and 63,000 applications for volunteers.
55 percent of Puerto Ricans are now without drinking water, according to the Pentagon. As of Saturday, the Puerto Rican government reported that power was still at five percent. You can track the status of Puerto Rico’s cell service, power, and supermarkets on a government page.