President Donald Trump tosses paper towels into a crowd as he hands out supplies to people affected by Hurricane Maria at Calvary Chapel, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Fiza Pirani, Atlanta Jouornal-Constitution
GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico.
During a briefing with officials in Puerto Rico Tuesday, President Donald Trumpsaid the U.S. territory has “thrown our budget a little out of whack,” and told officials they should be “proud” that the death toll wasn’t as high as Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Trump said the storm damage in Puerto Rico wasn’t “a real catastrophe like Katrina” because the confirmed death toll is 16 so far, compared to the thousands who perished in Hurricane Katrina, Trump said
Here's Trump comparing the death count in Puerto Rico to the death count in a "real catastrophe like Katrina" pic.twitter.com/lNCz4wYvMn
The trip comes amid harsh criticism against Trump and his administration for what many have said was a slow response to the disaster.
Beyond disapproval about the timeline of his Puerto Rico trip, several pundits and other have taken aim at the president’s visit to the devastated country, with many calling his behavior and comments during the briefing “inappropriate” and “ridiculous.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) spoke to a crowd of reporters Tuesday about Trump’s visit, saying, “Mr. President, enough. Stop blaming Puerto Rico for the storm that devastated their shores, and roll up your sleeves and get the recovery on track. That’s your job as president.”
Schumer to Trump: "Stop blaming Puerto Rico...roll up your sleeves and get the recovery on track. That's your job." (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/Q12RQEw0hS
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who criticized Trump for a slow response to send aid, also said in an interview with CNN that Trump sometimes “spouts” comments “that really hurt the people of Puerto Rico.”
But Cruz later tweeted that she believes the trip helped the White House staff understand the situation in Puerto Rico.
Meeting with WH staff productive. They REALLY understood the disconnect between how things are supposed to happen and how they really happen