Hurricane Florence continues to make its way toward the United States this week. The massive storm will affect North and South Carolina, along with Virginia, primarily, confronting the residents with massive winds of as much 150 mph. In the meantime, President Donald Trump has sought to reassure those who stand to be affected by the storm that the government is on their side, but in so doing, he’s hardly gotten out from under the weight of his own incompetence.
Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office Tuesday, he said:
‘It looks to me, and it looks to all of a lot of very talented people that do this for a living like this is going to be a storm that’s going to be a very large one… They haven’t seen anything like what’s coming at us in 25, 30 years, maybe ever. It’s tremendously big and tremendously wet. Tremendous amounts of water.’
TRUMP sounds the alarm about Hurricane Florence during Oval Office press availability: “They haven’t seen anything like what’s coming at us in 25, 30 years, maybe ever. It’s tremendously big and tremendously wet.” pic.twitter.com/p5YljZK8oL
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 11, 2018
Wow. Thanks, Trump! We’d never have known a hurricane near the very top of the measurement scale was going to be “tremendously big and tremendously wet” without you. He included that phrase in the middle of a diatribe that was meant to be serious, serving as a formal warning about the dangers of an oncoming massive storm.
That rhetorical roundabout is hardly the only way Trump demonstrated his incompetence, though.
During the same session with reporters at the White House, the president again (!) praised the government’s response to Hurricane Maria, which slammed into Puerto Rico last year. The storm left thousands dead in its wake, with federal authorities majorly bungling their response to the storm. FEMA was understaffed and underprepared ahead of the storm, and in its immediate aftermath, neither the agency nor local authorities stepped up to the plate. The situation was so bad that FEMA was dealing with satellite phones that people on the ground didn’t even know how to use.
Even still, Tuesday, Trump told reporters of the government’s response effort:
‘I think it was incredibly successful… I actually think it’s one of the best jobs that’s ever been done with respect to what this is all about… I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success.’
During briefing on approach of Hurricane #Florence, Pres. Trump calls government’s response to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria “tremendous.”
— ABC News (@ABC) September 11, 2018
Talk about egotism. Just to be clear, almost 3,000 people are estimated to have died from the storm — and the president calls that a success.
Tuesday, Trump also repeated the false claim that the island’s electrical grid was “dead” before either Hurricane Maria or the 2017 Hurricane Irma affected the island. Although power authorities were struggling, the power system was not “dead.”
He’s asserted that the government did a fantastic job responding to Puerto Rico’s crises in the past, including since the official death toll was revised — and skyrocketed — to nearly 3,000.
At present, neither his refusal to acknowledge the reality of the situation surrounding the 2017 hurricane season nor his inability to describe hurricanes with the vocabulary of an obviously competent adult prove particularly reassuring. Meanwhile, citizens in the areas in the middle of the east coast who stand to be affected by Hurricane Florence continue to prepare.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot