Earlier today, President Donald Trump ruffled quite a few feathers with his response to the California wildfires. In a tweet, linked and quoted below, he appears to blame state authorities for the deadly fires. It’s no secret that state authorities have had their hands full with the wildfires as thousands of California residents have been forced to evacuate. To make matters worse, nine people have reportedly lost their lives in the deadly fires. But despite the disheartening circumstances, Trump isn’t backing down from his stance. In fact, while blaming the authorities, he went a step further, threatening to withhold federal funding because the fires have been ongoing.
Almost immediately after he posted the threatening tweet, it made headlines and he was criticized for his seemingly insensitive stance. Katy Perry is one of the people who sounded off in response to Trump’s statement.
According to the Huffington Post, the “Rise” singer took to Twitter on Saturday, November 10, with a direct response to Trump’s tweet. She described Trump’s response to the natural disaster as “heartless” tweeting, “This is an absolutely heartless response. There aren’t even politics involved. Just good American families losing their homes as you tweet, evacuating into shelters.” In a matter of hours, Katy Perry’s tweet went viral, apparently resonating with many of her fans. In the span of only nine hours, Perry’s tweet generated over 1,000 reponses, 6,300 retweets, and 29,000 likes.
There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
The tweet has been met with opposition from various angles. To many people, Trump’s tweet insinuates that forest management is to blame for a natural disaster far beyond human control. The mounting criticism also centers on the presumed lack of compassion for those in need. Many celebrities, including Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and many others are among the thousands of California residents affected by the wildfires.
According to the Washington Post, Will Smith graphically described smelling the smoke and seeing fire when he and his family were forced to evacuate their home. Although the fires have been ongoing, Smith noted that this was the first time he could see the fire in close proximity to his home. Hopefully, California will ultimately receive the funding needed to recover from this horrific natural disaster. It is still unclear whether Trump plans to actively withdraw federal funding from the state authorities or whether he was simply grandstanding on Twitter in the manner that has come to define his presidency.