And Trumps visit to Puerto Rico was not a success, this is what he said:
“Every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous — hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here, with really a storm that was just totally overpowering, nobody’s ever seen anything like this. What is your death count as of this moment? 17? 16 people certified, 16 people versus in the thousands. 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. Everybody around this table and everybody watching can really be very proud of what’s taken place in Puerto Rico.”
Where to begin???
How about that suggesting that what happened in Puerto Rico – an entire island devastated, huge swaths without power, food and water in short supply – wasn’t a “real” catastrophe because not that many people died?
While Trump’s comments about the relatively small number of deaths will draw the most attention – and rightly so – there’s so much else in Trump’s relatively brief comments that speaks to the fact that he lacks the empathy gene. Among them:
- "It’s a great trip. Your weather is second to none but every once in a while you get hit. And you really got hit."
Your weather is second to none? The country has literally been leveled by a hurricane.
Or, what about using death count as a talking point? Yes, it’s true that far more people died in Katrina (1,800+) than did in Maria (16). But, for the families of the 16 who died, that loss is no less heart-breaking. Loss of life is loss of life. And we’re not even dealing with the thousands of people whose lives have been fundamentally altered, forever, as a result of this storm – for whom things will never be the same and may well be far, far worse.
(Nota bene: After Trump left Puerto Rico, the country’s governor Ricardo Rosello announced that the death toll had risen to 34.)
“Proud” is not the right word for how people should – or do – feel. It’s not even close.
It’s the opposite of empathy.
I couldn’t agree more Chris Cillizza CNN.