WASHINGTON. Not content with smearing Brett Kavanaugh, a perfectly decent and honorable Supreme Court nominee, Democrats routinely ignore the American people. The real focus is their drive to re-take Congress in November. Part of this relentless fusillade of falsehoods by Chuck Schumer and the Democrat left includes the Mayor and Governor of Puerto Rico. All unite in their strident criticism of the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria.
Fighting leftist lies, President Trump’s Puerto Rico Twitter Storm rebuttal was promptly denounced by the usual suspects.
But, while Democrats and their media lackeys busily trash Trump, everyone needs to do a bit of fact-checking on this one. That’s because it’s harder and harder to know what’s true these days. And what isn’t. And what are outright leftist lies.
First and foremost, there are two Puerto Ricos. Not just one.
- First, there’s urban Puerto Rico. We’re talking about long-established, historic cities like San Juan, where tall high rise hotels and upscale housing line the coast. There’s also historic old San Juan Puerto Rico. Tourists flock to the city’s older sections and to its iconic Fort – Castillo San Felipe del Morro. They explore the city’s Spanish colonial history as well as its modern incarnation. That historical sweep is extensive. It ranges from 16th century pirate lore to the island’s role in protecting U.S. territory during World War II.
- But a second Puerto Rico also exists, hidden from the average tourist’s view. Smaller Puerto Rican towns and suburbs dot the island, including lesser known and traveled places like Jayuya, Las Marías, Comerío, Cabo Rojo, Naranjito, Yauco, Morovis, Loíza, Peñuelas and San Sebastián. In the June 2018 issue of El Nuevo Día, these towns, along with its rural areas, had a higher number of deaths in the months after Hurricane Maria when compared to the same period in 2015 and in 2016. These are the areas that were hardest hit. This was largely due to inferior, poorly maintained or nonexistent island infrastructure, including electricity, water, roads, and a lack of adequate maintenance equipment and backup planning.
Who’s at fault in Puerto Rico
Democrats and their media adjuncts instantly blamed President Trump and his administration for an ever-higher Puerto Rican death toll. That number allegedly rose from and early body count of just 64 to a more catastrophic 3,000. Unfortunately for Trump’s critics, that larger number is decidedly conjectural. It is based on computer estimates, not actual numbers. More leftist lies?
What the media fails to report in its one-sided narrative of the Puerto Rican hurricane disaster remains a mystery to most fans of the major networks and their adjuncts. Puerto Rican officials failed to draw up evacuation, support and restoration plans in advance. So they put on a brave face and ad-libbed their botched response to the disaster. A coherent response never happened.
Consequently, the real blame for this still-unfolding Puerto Rican disaster is on Puerto Rico’s negligent officials, not President Trump. For all the money both Commonwealth and city officials wasted over the last several decades, they clearly paid little attention to disaster planning and support and modernization of critical infrastructure.
Trump’s Twitter War against the #Resistance, Puerto Rico chapter
The ensuing war of words between the President, the Governor of Puerto Rico and the mayor of San Juan is tiresome. Both partisan Democrats smeared a conveniently Republican President with predictable leftist lies, blaming him for their own failings to distract the public from their government’s arguably criminal lack of disaster preparedness.
Predictably, and with considerable justification, President Trump punched back with his now-famous Twitter Storm. He largely placed the blame for poor Puerto Rican disaster relief, recovery and restoration efforts back on the dysfunctional local government where it belongs.
Politics aside, it is easy why Trump pushed back on the death toll. Fluctuating wildly almost at will, computer-generated estimates quickly climbed from 64 to a few hundred to a few thousand. You can almost hear the President thinking, how long after a disaster do we continue to attribute deaths to that disaster.
The President has a point. Computer estimates attributed a large portion of their post-storm death estimates to a lack of access to medical services, electricity and clean water among the elderly and very young. We’re talking about island infrastructure, transportation and maintenance of key facilities. Whose responsibility was that?
A failing Puerto Rico meets Hurricane Maria
Democrats and their media friends consistently avoid a very important issue that existed long before Hurricane Maria slammed the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Above all, the island has long suffered from a disastrously failing infrastructure, including basics like electricity and passable roadways. When that archaic infrastructure failed – spectacularly – it was easy to see why any disaster response would be slow and painful at best. Poor prior planning.
Initial post-Maria death reports put actual deaths from the storm at roughly 64-67 individuals. To mask the near-criminal culpability of the island’s politicians, third party sources skewed the estimated death toll steadily upward. Puerto Rico’s liberal leadership and their Washington friends pushed these rising estimates to the media.
Estimates included a highly controversial and highly touted report from DC’s left-leaning George Washington University. Routinely putting politics before people, media and politicians alike hyped larger and larger death estimates (not actual deaths). As a result, this tactic shifts the blame to the Republican administration that was trying to help. By these means, the island’s politicians hoped to distract and deflect the blame from themselves to the opposing party in Washington.
False Puerto Rico disaster narrative: A tapestry of leftist lies
In conclusion, the claim that President Trump failed Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Maria is a false narrative. Indeed, Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts drag on painfully. But Puerto Rico’s ineffective political leadership shares most of the guilt. Here are the specifics.
- Much of the emergency food, water and medicine sent to Puerto Rico was left in shipping ports. Items remained undelivered because the Puerto Rican government did not take the steps necessary to prepare for the hurricane, despite knowing its Cat 5 strength.
- Long before Maria, and President Trump, Puerto Rico had failed due to its own liberal policies and crime among the elite. (Puerto Rico’s Liberal Mismanagement Should Not Be Rewarded by Congress– April 2016)
- In 2014 Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority was already near insolvency and Puerto Rico was $72 billion in debt.
- Puerto Rico’s infrastructure, roads, farming, most industry was decimated by 2014. A younger workforce fled, leave a country with more than 50% poverty in non-tourist areas and an aging population that needed services that could not be delivered.
- Congress has approved funds for Puerto Rico to Maria help in rebuilding some 75,000 homes that were destroyed and another 300,00 that were damaged. An estimated $31 billion in damage to housing alone according to the island’s housing secretary, Fernando Gil.
—Next: Hurricane Maria: Call and response