On Thursday, the congealed mass of blood flecked mucus that insists you call it Donald Trump decided to suggest on Twitter that he may be withdrawing aid from Puerto Rico and the 3.5 million Americans struggling to survive through food, water, fuel, and medical supply shortages there. He just thinks they should take some responsibility for their devastation, already!
Trump’s relationship with Puerto Rico has been bad since Hurricane Maria flattened the island. Was he even aware of his responsibility for the US territory preceding these events? Who knows. Though he visited the island for a day to throw paper towels into the crowd, Trump does not actually seem to care about the humanitarian disaster unfolding there. He mostly seems pissed off by Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, attacking her on Twitter after she called his administration out on the news.
On Thursday morning, Trump argued that Puerto Rico is suffering from debt, not a natural disaster and lack of support from its own government (a debt Trump himself contributed to as a civilian):
How much should Congress have to spend to keep American citizens from dying horribly of starvation? How long should FEMA be expected to do its literal job? According to NBC News, at least FEMA seems to think they should be continuing their work there, announcing on Wednesday that they’ll be expanding their leadership team in Puerto Rico.
That news coincides with reports from the EPA that people are attempting to draw water from Superfund sites, and sewage is contaminating waterways via destroyed infrastructure. The death toll has risen to 45, with 113 people unaccounted for. How much longer this can go on is actually an urgent question.