On Tuesday, President Donald Trump went to Puerto Rico to address the rescue efforts and the response on the hurricane-ravaged island. But while he was there, he scolded Puerto Rico over the cost of the recovery and suggested that their suffering was not a “real catastrophe.”
Trump asked officials at the table to talk about the positive impact of federal assistance before he went on to say that, while “every death is a horror,” the 16 reported fatalities thus far in Puerto Rico were nothing next to a “real catastrophe like Katrina.”
“Sixteen people certified. Sixteen people versus in the thousands,” Trump said. “You can be very proud of all of your people, and all of our people working together. Sixteen versus literally thousands of people. You can be very proud, everyone around this table and everyone watching can be very proud of what’s taking place in Puerto Rico.”
However, considering Puerto Rico has very little in the way of electricity and communication while it is still recovering, it is highly likely that the reported death toll will only rise as recovery efforts continue.
While speaking to Puerto Ricans, Trump also mentioned Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney and brought up Puerto Rico’s debt.
“I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’re throwing our budget a little out of whack, because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that’s fine, we’ve saved a lot of lives,” he said.