In the era of the Trump administration, nothing is safe — not even ceremonial visits to the White House from winning sports teams that you’d probably imagine would be pretty hard to screw up. This Thursday, the Boston Red Sox baseball team were set to visit the White House grounds in honor of their 2018 World Series victory — and for a bit of time this morning, the Trump team heralded the upcoming event as a visit of the “Boston Red Socks.” It’s unclear exactly what explanation the president’s team might have for the embarrassing gaffe, but it was fixed as of about 9 A.M. Eastern time.
The @WhiteHouse spelled @RedSox as “Red Socks” on its website and @YouTube pages ahead of today’s event: “President Trump Welcomes the 2018 World Series Champions The Boston Red Socks to the White House” (it’s now fixed). https://t.co/lZAttYHWMS pic.twitter.com/0cwmlanq0D
— Steve Annear (@steveannear) May 9, 2019
Ironically, it’s not the only issue associated with the event. Recently, the team manager Alex Cora announced he’d be skipping the visit in protest of the Trump administration’s dismal at best response to hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, where he was born. Thousands died in the immediate aftermath and from longer-term effects of Hurricane Maria, but not only has the Trump administration rebuffed efforts from local leaders to get help, they’ve consistently proclaimed the whole operation a rousing success.
President Donald Trump went so far that he asserted authorities who updated their death toll to almost 3,000 to be peddling in fake news. More recently, he’s engaged in other lies, vastly inflating the amount of aid that the island community has received so far. He keeps saying that they’ve gotten some $91 billion in financial assistance from the federal government — at times depicting the transaction as them milking the United States, although they are the United States. In reality, Puerto Rico has only actually gotten about $5.72 billion in funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. Only about $11.4 billion in FEMA funds have been approved at all — the figure the president keeps pointing to is a cost estimate of the recovery spread out over decades.
Underneath the noise, there are other serious lingering issues. Although a portion were eventually approved, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria, FEMA disapproved a whopping over 335,000 applications for housing assistance. Many of the issues that the agency raised as support for their denials centered on a supposed inability for applicants to appropriately prove their ownership of the residence for which they were requesting assistance — remember, the locale was sent in at least some instances into a modern equivalent of the Dark Ages thanks to the storm’s annihilation, and for that and other reasons some might have been unable to produce the documents the agency wanted. They didn’t budge.
Besides the Red Sox team manager protesting this mess, players including Mookie Betts, David Prince, Rafael Devers, Sandy Leon, and Christian Vazquez all previously said they’d be skipping visiting the Trump administration.
The Trump team has had issues with this sort of thing before. In perhaps the most infamous example, they ended up completely disinviting the Philadelphia Eagles from the White House after their Super Bowl win following the announcement from a contingent of players that they wouldn’t be showing.
There have been other highlights on the opposite side, though — like the Trump team serving an ever-shifting number of “hamberders” to the Clemson University football team.
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