Houston Chronicle: Trump ridiculed hurricane victims instead of helping

Houston Chronicle: Trump ridiculed hurricane victims instead of helping
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The Houston Chronicle’s editorial board issued a blistering critique of President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE’s handling of last year’s Hurricane Harvey, as hurricane season gets underway for this year.

The piece comes days after Trump claimed that Texans had to be rescued after they “went out in their boats to watch the hurricane.”

The Chronicle tore into Trump’s comments, saying that while many of his remarks can be passed off as “bizarre Trumpian bloviations,” these are “too serious for Houstonians to let slide.”

“A region still recovering from catastrophic flooding doesn’t need its plight minimized or ridiculed,” the paper wrote. “It needs help.”

The paper noted the responses of some Texas officials, including Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, who sarcastically said: “I'll be sure to invite the president to ride out the next hurricane in a jon boat in Galveston Bay the next time one approaches.”

The editorial board blasted Trump as “abysmally ignorant” about the aftermath of the storm, and expressed concern that the impending hurricane season will yield similar results, with Trump administration officials not grasping the area’s needs.

“Who’s to say we have a prayer of getting a third reservoir, new bayou infrastructure or a coastal storm surge barrier before the next big storm?” the board wrote. “We’re two weeks into another hurricane season, facing fresh risk of another disaster, and we’re still begging for assistance to recover from the last one.”


The Trump administration was harshly criticized during and after last year's hurricane season, in particular for its handling of the devastation in Puerto Rico. Critics accused Trump of not responding as urgently to the storm in the U.S. territory as he did to hurricanes Harvey and Irma on the mainland U.S.

The Chronicle pointed to Trump’s response to Puerto Rico, highlighting his visit to the island where he was famously filmed tossing rolls of paper towels into a crowd of hurricane victims awaiting supplies.

“The people of Puerto Rico, those who survived a hurricane that killed thousands, know something of the importance of political leadership,” the Chronicle wrote. “They remember a president who responded to biblical devastation by tossing rolls of paper towels at them. They know how arrogance and ineptitude at the top can magnify a dire situation.”

The board issued a final plea to Trump for the 2018 hurricane season.

“Mr. President, those Texans in rescue boats weren’t out looking for trouble. They were looking for help. A year later, the Houston region is still looking,” they wrote.

“Show some leadership. Make us your priority, not your punchline.”