The mainstream media is spinning coverage of hurricane relief in Puerto Rico to make it appear as though the Trump administration is neglectfully letting the island’s inhabitants die from thirst and starvation.
In response, President Trump has taken it upon himself to shed light on the extensive relief efforts conducted in Puerto Rico. On Twitter, Trump shared a video presenting the different forms of aid and relief efforts presently being carried out by various government agencies on the ravaged island. As the video shows, responders are clearing roads, restoring power, and supplying food and water.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2017
The eight-minute video shows several aspects of hurricane relief not regularly mentioned by the media. The insightful footage dispels several of the myths the political Left is promulgating about Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria.
President Trump’s chief detractor in Puerto Rico is San Juan’s Mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz. As Christian News Alerts noted, Cruz has accused Trump of “killing” Puerto Ricans with “inefficiency.”
In another sensational statement, Cruz said the US will be responsible for “something close to a genocide” if it does not provide Puerto Rico with the help it needs. But FEMA head Brock Long has dismissed Cruz’s allegations of the federal government’s incompetence.
“We filtered out the mayor a long time ago,” said Long, who has detailed the many services government entities are performing for the devastated population of Puerto Rico–including life-flighting intensive care patients to the naval ship USNS Comfort for medical care while hospitals’ electricity is being restored.
While Long says FEMA ignores “political noise,” Trump realizes the stakes involved in allowing the Left to dominate the news narrative when it comes to disaster relief. As covered by Breitbart, former-President George W. Bush was politically damaged by the press’ negative coverage of his Hurricane Katrina response.
But Trump has continually proven to have a greater talent for narrative frame control than Bush. And one of the keys to his success has been his use of social media, particularly Twitter, to bypass the media and engage the American people directly.
One of the most important details depicted in Trump’s video is the work being performed by US Forest Service (USFS), which has sent large numbers of personnel to clear Puerto Rican roads. The immense debris and fallen trees have posed a major challenge to responders and relief workers, making it difficult to transport food, water, medical supplies, and generators where they’re most needed.
US investing enormous money and resources into Puerto Rico recovery. Does Puerto Rico need to do things to improve their own disaster readiness?
Mayor Cruz has repeatedly attacked the Trump administration for what she perceives to be slowness in the movement of supplies. Her criticism fails to take into consideration infrastructure rendered unusable due to poor pre-disaster planning. The video shows USFS employees working hard to cut down trees and clear roadways as quickly as possible.
Additionally, relief aircraft are seen circumventing blocked roads by flying in and air-dropping supplies where possible. Crate after crate and pallet after pallet of food and water are seen being brought in by US ships.
Hurricane Maria was a powerful storm that facilitated the realization of a mismanaged, corruption-ridden government. Given the extent of the damage, a full restoration of essential services–like power and water–cannot be performed with the same speed as in Texas and Florida. Given these realities, the federal government under President Trump has provided a praiseworthy response.