Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted what appeared to be a complaint that the latest potential hurricane now bearing down on Puerto Rico would end up costing too much money above what the federal government has already spent to help rebuild the United States territory after Hurricane Maria’s devastation in 2017, followed by further damage caused by Hurricane Irma in 2018, as NBC News reported.
Trump’s tweet led CNN correspondent Abby Phillip to remark that Trump was “implying that the Puerto Rican people are bringing this upon themselves,” in order to cause “some kind of headache for him by potentially, in the future, requiring more disaster relief funds,” as quoted by Raw Story.
“Wow! Yet another big storm heading to Puerto Rico. Will it ever end?” Trump wrote on Twitter earlier Tuesday.
“Congress approved 92 Billion Dollars for Puerto Rico last year, an all time record of its kind for ‘anywhere.'”
Why Trump placed the word “anywhere” in quotation marks remains unclear. But the $92 billion aid figure cited by Trump is an exaggeration, The Washington Post reported — to the tune of almost $50 million.
Congress has allocated just $42.7 billion to the independently governed island to recover from the two hurricanes, The Post pointed out. But less than $14 billion has actually found its way to Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico is currently bracing for the impact of Tropical Storm Doria, according to CNN. The storm is expected to reach hurricane strength just before it slams into Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, possibly as soon as Wednesday, CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.
Besides Phillip, Twitter users who replied to Trump’s tweet also felt that Trump was attempting to blame Puerto Rico itself for the hurricane that hit the island.
“The occupant of the White House is blaming Puerto Rico for hurricanes,” wrote comedian Nick Jay Pappas on his own Twitter account.
“This is like a parent shaming a kid who just got diagnosed with a cancer relapse about treatment costs,” filmmaker Adam Best said via Twitter.
“Send nukes…” wrote author John Pavlovitz via Twitter — making sarcastic reference to Trump’s behind-the-scenes proposal to fight hurricanes with nuclear weapons.
As The Inquisitr reported, Trump was not the first to propose using nuclear explosions to stop hurricanes, but weather experts say that even nuclear bombs would be largely ineffective and would serve only to spread massive amounts of deadly radiation, carried by winds over populated areas.
Puerto Rico is already under a tropical storm warning, with heavy rains, flash flooding, and mudslides expected to wreak more havoc on the island of 3.2 million, even if the storm does not strengthen to hurricane level.