Trump Endorses Fake News Story That Harms Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Maria created an unprecedented humanitarian disaster for 3.5 million American citizens in Puerto Rico. At first, a President preoccupied with half a dozen football players kneeling said nothing. When he finally responded it was in a series of tweets blaming Puerto Rico for the problem and expressing concern mostly for American banks that loaned the island money. The backlash against the President’s response produced a counter-backlash from his personality cult to defend him.
This defense included various claims from conservative media outlets, such as Conservative Treehouse and Gateway Pundit, that an abundance of supplies were not being trucked to where they were needed because the Puerto Rico Trucker’s Union was on strike.
Simply put, these stories were flat out lies. There were based on selective quoting of an American official who did indeed report that only about 20% of the truckers were working. However, he provided the reasons for the truckers not working and NONE of those reasons involved any kind of strike. Rather, he explained the truckers couldn’t get to work because they had no gas themselves. They didn’t know where to go because there was no communications to inform them. They were taking care of their families in an immediate fight for survival.
The heart of this lie, that lazy and/or greedy Puerto Rican union truckers, uncaring for their own people, were just refusing to help was completely and totally false. There was not even a thin thread of truth to it.
This was no ordinary lie, it was hateful and mean spirited. But what makes it particularly so is that it was endorsed by the President of the United States giving it an undeserved credibility that is harmful to the people of Puerto Rico.
As the lying right wing media sites pushed this lying story President Trump endorsed it giving the story an undeserved credibility in the eyes of his personality cult. The President declared “We need their truck drivers to start driving trucks so at a local level they have to start giving us more help.” This was on top of, in the context of, the President on Twitter saying Puerto Rican’s “want everything to be done for them.” It’s part of a Presidential pattern of blaming the Hispanic victims for their plight rather than this Administration’s slow response to it.
Let’s talk about this Presidentially endorsed lie and its impact on the Puerto Rican people. The entire point of this malicious lie is to suggest the Puerto Rican people don’t deserve help because they aren’t doing all they can to help themselves. The lie not only potentially damages critical relief from the government, it also discourages private individuals from donating to Puerto Rican relief. The President’s words damage even private efforts to help Puerto Rico.
The entire point of this malicious lie is to suggest the Puerto Rican people don’t deserve help because they aren’t doing all they can to help themselves.
The Mayor of San Juan asked that “the President of the United States stops spouting out comments that really hurt the people of Puerto Rico.” This endorsement by the President of the truckers on strike lie is precisely what she is talking about.
When this President isn’t lying himself he is endorsing a lie. His endorsement of this lie is particularly evil.