things that matter

President Trump’s One-Day Visit To Puerto Rico Was Packed With Tone Deaf Moves

Mandel Ngan / Getty

After being roundly criticized for his administration’s delayed response in helping Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria, President Trump finally arrived on the island to survey the damage and meet with Puerto Rican officials. According to The Washington Post, Trump said his administration was doing a “great job” with relief efforts in Puerto Rico: “And in Texas and in Florida, we get an A-plus. And I’ll tell you what, I think we’ve done just as good in Puerto Rico, and it’s actually a much tougher situation. But now the roads are cleared, communications is starting to come back. We need their truck drivers to start driving trucks.”

Just days earlier, Trump shot back at Mayor Yulín Cruz, who said the Trump administration wasn’t doing enough to help Puerto Rico. “Such poor leadership by the Mayor of San Juan and others in Puerto Rico who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”

Although the president painted a picture of rapid recovery, millions of people are still without running water. USA Today reported that getting food, water, or gas can take some Puerto Ricans several hours or even a whole day.

During his roundtable for the press, Trump zeroed in on the death toll and appeared to imply that Hurricane Katrina was a “real catastrophe” because more people died.

Trump: “Every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous — hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here, with really a storm that was just totally overpowering, nobody’s ever seen anything like this.”

After turning to Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Roselló to ask “What is your death count as of this moment, 17?” Trump added, “16 people certified, 16 people versus in the thousands.”

Although the death toll is currently at 16 people, the number is expected to rise. According to Vox, it has remained at 16 because deaths aren’t being officially recorded. Journalist Omaya Sosa Pascual told Vox that the process for declaring deaths is currently broken: “Some of the people who work in the government lost their homes themselves and aren’t at work. So they can’t do death certificates. The dead can’t be documented because of all the logistics and legal aspects of declaring someone dead.”

Trump also made a crack about the amount of money that would be spent on disaster relief.

“I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack.”

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer took to Twitter and asked Trump to stop blaming Puerto Rico for the situation it finds itself in.

And Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) called out Trump for his repeated trips to Mar-A-Lago.

Later, Trump handed out supplies to Puerto Ricans. Here he is tossing paper towels like he’s shooting basketballs.

Also, after speaking to a hurricane victim, Trump ended the conversation by saying, “Have a good time.”

Trump’s focus on the death toll, his budget remarks, and the praise he’s given his administration for doing an “A+ job” all point to someone who is both tone deaf and out of touch with the severity of Puerto Rico’s situation. Trump is only in Puerto Rico for one day. On Wednesday, he heads to Las Vegas, where 59 people died on Sunday in the largest mass shooting in modern American history.

Click here for a list of charities and crowdfunding campaigns that are helping people in Puerto Rico.

Two Weeks After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Still Needs Lots Of Help

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An Organization Offers People A Chance To "Rent" Destroyed Buildings In Mexico As A Form Of Donation To Rebuilding Costs

Things That Matter

An Organization Offers People A Chance To “Rent” Destroyed Buildings In Mexico As A Form Of Donation To Rebuilding Costs

Edgar Elorza / Facebook / arribamexico.org

People in Mexico City are still cleaning up the destruction caused by the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that shook central and southern Mexico on Sept. 19. As the debris is being cleared, residents are getting a better picture of the damage throughout the city. More than 300 people have died as a result of the earthquake. Thousands are homeless.

Edgar “Fader” Elorza and Angel “Cheche” Rodriguez, two creative directors from Anonimo, an ad agency in Mexico City, are raising money in a unique way to help those who no longer have a place to call home.

CREDIT: Edgar Elorza / Facebook

The two creative directors from the Mexico City ad agency Anonimo decided to take a different approach to raising money, according to AdAge. They created Arriba México, a website that looks and feels like a rental/hotel booking company (think Airbnb). But instead of booking a room to stay in, you click on a property and send a donation to help rebuilding efforts.


CREDIT: Arriba México

When you enter the site, you see eight different properties that are available for “rent,” including a listing price per night. The properties are mainly in Roma and Condesa, two hip Mexico City neighborhoods that were hit hard by the earthquake. The site also includes properties in Oaxaca, Puebla, Morelos, and Chiapas. People who visit the website can choose a property and “book” as many nights as they wish. Rather than actually staying at those properties, the site visitor will give that money as a donation to help rebuild Mexico City.

According to AdAge, the funds raised will initially be used to create tent shelters that are safe and effective. The tents will be able to house up to five people, giving families who have lost their homes a place to sleep while relief efforts in the city continue. According to the Arriba México website, the temporary shelters given to those left homeless from the earthquake will include beds, lamps, pantry, kitchen kit, stove and water filters. The New York Times reported that more than 60 buildings collapsed or were severely damaged as a result of the earthquake, including residential apartment buildings.


CREDIT: Arriba México

All of the funds are being donated to Comité de Ayuda a Desastres y Emergencias Nacionales (CADENA), an organization that specializes in helping those affected by natural disasters in Mexico.

The creators of the fundraising initiative are hoping to get Airbnb onboard with the mission. According to AdAge, Anonimo has reached out to Airbnb asking them to get involved. At the time of this article, Arriba México has raised USD $16,230.70/MXN $295,590.00.

They’re also are hoping to use it to help other people affected by natural disasters, like Puerto Rico.

“One thing we love about it is that it is an idea that can become global,” Raul Cardos, the founder and president of Anonimo, told AdAge about the fundraising campaign.


READ: Here’s Where You Can Donate To Those Affected By The Earthquakes In Mexico And Hurricanes In Puerto Rico






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