President Donald Trump was asked by reporters on Thursday what he would grade himself, on a scale of 1 to 10, regarding his administration's response to the disastrous aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico four weeks ago.
Trump didn't hesitate in his response. "I would say it’s a 10," he said.
President Trump grades the White House 10/10 on the Puerto Rico hurricane response pic.twitter.com/WZ33I1FjGx— Axios (@axios) October 19, 2017
There are many who may contend with the response that Trump gave. Almost half of all Americans in one poll earlier this month gave Trump bad grades on his administration's response; only 32 percent said he actually did well.
Conditions haven't improved much on the island since then, either. Almost 80 percent of Puerto Rico is still without power. About 1 million are still without potable drinking water. And although Trump cited "positives" in having low death count totals, those amounts are only the official recorded deaths — estimates suggest that nearly 450 people have died as a result of the catastrophic storm.
It's hard to see how any of those numbers can translate to a perfect 10 in Trump's mind.
Other experts have weighed in on the status of Puerto Rico. “What happened in Texas and Florida were disasters,” W. Craig Fugate, the FEMA administrator under former President Barack Obama, told The New York Times. “What happened in Puerto Rico was a catastrophe.”
Only 9 percent of Puerto Ricans had electricity as of Oct. 13. Seventy-six percent of cell phone communication still remains suspended while only 392 miles of roads were open for transport on Oct. 12 out of 5,073.
Almost 90 percent of homes in Puerto Rico were damaged by the Class 3 hurricane and 80 percent of the island’s crops were destroyed.
The overall estimated cost of damage in Puerto Rico is an astounding $95 billion.
Meanwhile, Washington shows no urgency for this crisis and the response of federal officials remains inefficient at best, and blatantly dismissive at worst. Trump's latest comments, citing his administration's perfect 10 score, demonstrates that he's not in touch with what's really happening on the ground in Puerto Rico.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Joshua Roberts