President Donald Trump on Wednesday met hurricane survivors on the US island of Puerto Rico after he was criticised for his slow response. Trump along with First Lady Melania Trump visited the municipality of Guaynabo and inquired residents about their homes after Hurricane Maria caused devastation. He also told the survivors to be ‘very proud’ they had not experienced a ‘real catastrophe’ like Hurricane Katrina. However, his four-hour visit garnered more criticisms than praises. Before the visit, a week ago, he had got into a Twitter spat with the Mayor of San Juan after she criticised the federal government’ slow response to the crisis.
During the briefing on hurricane recovery efforts held at the Luis Muniz Air National Guard Base, Trump mistook an Air Force officer for a member of the Coast Guard. The President said, “Would you like to say something on behalf of your men and women?” To which the Air Force staff replied saying, “Sir, I’m representing the Air Force and Trump quickly responded with, “No, I know that.”
The Air Force official reported to Trump that since Hurricane Maria’s in Puerto Rico killed 16 people and left thousands without homes, or proper food. He also four major runways has been fully opened to accommodate air traffic during the recovery effort. Cheering, Trump said, “Amazing job. Amazing job.” Then he continued saying, “we’re ordering hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of new airplanes for the Air Force, especially the F-35. Do you like the F-35?” The official complimented the “game-changing technology” of the F-35 fighter jet, with Trump adding saying, “You can’t see it. Literally, you can’t see it. So it’s hard to fight a plane that you can’t see, right?”
Trump also came under criticisms for saying, “We saved a lot of lives.” Trump said, comparing it to that of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005. He said, “If you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds of people that died and what happened here with a storm that was just totally overbearing. No one has ever seen anything like that. What is your death count?” he asked. So far 16 people are confirmed dead from the storm. He also said, “I hate to tell you Puerto Rico but you threw our budget a little out of whack, but that’s fine.”
Trump was then brutally trolled on social media for throwing paper towels to people standing in front of him. POTUS became the became the butt of all jokes and a meme also started doing rounds. The catastrophe caused by the hurricane is being deemed as the worst hurricane in 90 years with over 3.4 million residents still struggling without basic necessities.