To the surprise of very few, President Donald Trump offered a bungled at best response to the fire that engulfed the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris this Monday. Although without mentioning his name, French authorities actually responded to the suggestion that he perhaps most prominently raised of bringing in air support to fight the fire. Quite simply, that effort would not only be unhelpful but explicitly counterproductive, making it even more suspicious that a president of the United States spouted it off on Twitter.
French Civil Security and Crisis Management shared on Twitter as the fire blazed:
‘Hundreds of firemen of the Paris Fire Brigade are doing everything they can to bring the terrible Notre Dame fire under control. All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral.’
Trump had suggested that “perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out,” adding that authorities “must act quickly.” French authorities really didn’t need the president to exhort them to “act quickly” to address the fire, which attracted the attention of the world — but oh well. It’s too late now. Trump should just stick to the other things he’d bad at.
The weight of the water Trump suggested using would be too much for the structure and maybe even surrounding structures to bear, considering it’s situated right in the middle of the city and there’d even been speculation at one point about the fire spreading beyond the cathedral. Authorities have said that while significant portions of the cathedral like much of the roof and the wooden interior were annihilated, the main stone structure remains intact, providing, perhaps, the ground for a future rebuilding effort. The cathedral has gone through such makeovers before, although plenty of the site dates back centuries. Some including French journalist Nicolas Delesalle have shared that as at least a bit of silver lining, many of the artifacts the cathedral housed are safe from the fire.
The fire is believed to have been somehow sparked by renovation efforts that were underway. At least in the first few to several hours following the blaze’s emergence, reports indicated only one injury — that of a firefighter who’d been battling the inferno. High-level French authorities rushed to the scene, and the Paris prosecutor promptly began investigating. French President Emmanuel Macron insisted the site would be rebuilt.
Trump is not the only global leader to respond to the incident; governments in Italy, Germany, and elsewhere also expressed their support.
He’s fumbled his part in global situations like this before. Responding to raging wildfires in California that engulfed an entire town, he claimed that Finnish President Sauli Niinistö had told him his country rakes its forests to avoid fires, so perhaps Californians should try that, Trump said. Finnish authorities said that they had not communicated such a recommendation to the U.S. president, further driving in the nonsense of the president telling the people of a town that had burned down “if only you’d raked…”.
Check out Twitter’s response to the French government responding to Trump’s latest flub…
Featured Image via screenshot