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Despite 90% Power Outage, Trump Tells Puerto Ricans: ‘Flashlights? You Don’t Need ‘Em Anymore’

Extreme Weather

Despite 90% Power Outage, Trump Tells Puerto Ricans: ‘Flashlights? You Don’t Need ‘Em Anymore’




While handing out supplies to hurricane victims at a church in Puerto Rico, President Trump told residents “flashlights? You don’t need ‘em anymore,” even as over 90 percent of the island’s 3.4 million residents remain without power nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria.

Trump handed out paper towels, flashlights and rice to hurricane victims at a Calvary Chapel church on the island.

“Flashlights? You don’t need ‘em anymore,” Trump said as he handed out the critically needed supply. “You don’t need ‘em.”

The category four hurricane virtually destroyed Puerto Rico’s electrical grid, requiring a complete rebuild which could take nearly 6 months to fully restore power to the island.

At one point, the president took the rolls of paper towels laid out for him to distribute to the crowd and began throwing them into the air like basketballs.

At a meeting with officials in San Juan on Tuesday, the president also noted the enormous cost associated with the hurricane relief and rescue mission in Puerto Rico, saying that the hurricane relief efforts had “thrown our budget a little out of whack.”

“I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack because we spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that’s fine,” Trump said. “We saved a lot of lives.”

Trump then compared the death counts between Hurricane Katrina and the death toll from Hurricane Maria, which has not been updated in nearly a week.



“If you looked — 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 has seen anything like this,” Trump said.

“What is your death count as of this morning, 17?” he said.

“Sixteen people certified,” Rosselló responded.

“Sixteen people certified versus in the thousands,” Trump said. “You can be very proud of all of your people, all of our people working together. Sixteen versus literally thousands of people. You can be very proud.”

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