Trump, Interrupted

Trump has responded to people nagging at him about Puerto Rico by agreeing to visit it next Tuesday. That’s a week from today, right? I know he’s really busy bitching about the NFL and Republicans in Congress, but one would think he could have scheduled something a bit sooner.

Puerto Rico is in crisis

After Hurricane Maria knocked out electricity to all of Puerto Rico, residents of the U.S. territory are “gasping for air” in the relenting heat, says the mayor of the island’s capital city of San Juan.

“What’s out there is total devastation. Total annihilation. People literally gasping for air. I personally have taken people out and put them in ambulances because their generator has run out,” Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz told ABC News.

Cruz said Puerto Rico has been prepared for major storms since the end of August, when Hurricane Irma was approaching. Irma slammed into the island and caused deaths and devastation, and was soon followed by the catastrophic hit of Maria. Parts of the island have now gone several weeks without running water and electricity.

Hospitals in particular are struggling without power, supplies, and even food and water. Before this is over we’re probably going to learn that a lot of people died after the storm who could have been saved by a quicker response. They are probably dying right now.

But Trump, who was so pleased with himself because he managed to visit Texas after Harvey, seems to feel no sense of urgency about Puerto Rico. In fact, he thinks he’s doing a good job.

President Donald Trump said he plans to travel to Puerto Rico next Tuesday to survey the wreckage left behind by Hurricane Maria, and boasted that his administration is getting “really good marks” for its response to the devastating storm.

“I mean I think we’re really getting really good marks for the work we’re doing,” Trump told reporters at the White House, also saying, “I grew up in New York so I know many people from Puerto Rico. I know many Puerto Ricans, and these are great people. And we have to help them.”

He added, “We’ve gotten A-pluses on Texas and on Florida. And we will also on Puerto Rico.”

So far, Trump has managed to figure out that Puerto Rico is an island. At least, he actually said this:

 “We’ve gotten A-pluses on Texas and in Florida, and we will also on Puerto Rico,” Trump said at the White House. “But the difference is this is an island sitting in the middle of an ocean. It’s a big ocean, it’s a very big ocean. And we’re doing a really good job.”

I can confirm that Puerto Rico is in an ocean, so we’re making progress in some ways.

He also said, “This is a thing called the Atlantic Ocean, this is tough stuff.” Yes, but there is also a thing called the “Navy.” They have boats.

Earlier today it was announced that the hospital ship the USNS Comfort would be heading to Puerto Rico, but the Miami Herald just reported that the Comfort wouldn’t be going yet.

On Tuesday, Nathan Potter, of the Naval public affairs office told The Miami Herald that the vessel was currently docked in Norfolk and had “no plans to deploy.”

Possibly the White House hasn’t yet figured out that the military doesn’t respond to rumors on the Internet. You have to send them orders.

The BBC asks, “Does Trump care about Puerto Rico’s hurricane victims?” Judging by his tweets, he has more important things on his mind, such as pro sports:

When he did finally tweet about Puerto Rico, it was to complain that Puerto Rico owed millions to Wall Street and the banks.

With all the hurricane there was bound to be a Katrina in there, somewhere, and I think we found it.