Human hair burrito Donald Trump, who used Hurricane Harvey as a ratings ploy to pardon former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and claims to have seen the storm’s devastating effects “first hand” even though he didn’t, is now donating one million of his own hard-inherited dollars to relief efforts. Though that’s a not insignificant amount of money that is sure to help many people who desperately need every penny, forgive me if I am not impressed by this gesture.
First, it’s unclear whether the money will come from Trump directly, or from the Trump Foundation, and even White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders could not answer this very simple question. “I don’t know the legal part of exactly that,” she said, using words in an order in which they do not typically appear, saying she “would assume” the donation will come directly from Trump’s personal account. Furthermore, apparently the Trumps have not figured out where to donate the money, as they have been asking the Fake News Media for suggestions:
But the truly frustrating part of this announcement is that it attempts to covers up Trump’s terrible record on policies that would offer real relief to Houston and future weather events like it. Climate scientists say that Hurricane Harvey, what is shaping up to be the costliest natural disaster in US history, is evidence of man-made climate change and the sort of extreme weather patterns we’re going to experience more frequently unless America gets back on board with policies to curb climate change. Remember that Trump, however, has called climate change a Chinese hoax; has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement; has proposed steep budget cuts for several federal organizations that monitor or respond to extreme weather events, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Weather Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; has instated several anti-science crackpots and hacks into leading positions in organizations like the Department of Agriculture and the EPA; has rolled back an Obama-era executive order aimed at making infrastructure more resilient in the face of rising sea levels and global warming; and has disbanded the federal advisory panel on climate change.
While Trump is throwing $1 million dollars at Houston right now—on its own a nice and helpful action—it’s symbolically a meaningless gesture if he’s all but ensuring other cities to the same devastation by refusing to support policies that act against climate change. After all (and unfortunately, for us), he’s not just a failing, floppy-haired real estate tycoon anymore, he’s actually in charge.