Sunday, September 8, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He started turning away Bahamian refugees he claimed to be "helping."

Yesterday, Trump credited himself—personally—with preventing more casualties from the disastrous landfall of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.

Today, Bahamians attempting to travel (legally) to the United States without a visa were ordered off of ferries. Normally, a visa is not required for Bahamian citizens to enter the United States.

It's not yet clear how many people in the Bahamas were killed outright by the hurricane, but tens of thousands more are at risk now from disease, lack of access to clean water and medical care, and a shattered electrical infrastructure. 

In other words, it is very similar to the situation in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017. When the death toll there rose into the thousands, after months of neglect from a hostile Trump administration, Trump responded by claiming that those death statistics were fake.

Why does this matter?

  • "Helping" the victims of a natural disaster doesn't mean making it harder for them to escape the areas affected by it.
  • People will die who otherwise wouldn't because of this.
  • Presidents who are actually "helping" don't need to advertise it.