President Trump on Thursday awarded himself a perfect 10 out of 10 rating for his response to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, despite multiple volunteer nurses and doctors groups who describe the situation on the ground as “post-apocalyptic.”
“I would give myself a 10,” Trump told reporters when asked how he would score his efforts in the U.S. territory, on a 1-10 scale.
Trump gave himself the high marks during a meeting with Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, who is in Washington to push the federal government to provide disaster relief for the island.
“We have provided so much, so fast,” Trump said, as more than 80 percent of the island remains without electricity and a quarter of the island’s population still does not have access to clean water.
Asked how he would grade the White House’s Puerto Rico response, Trump says, “I give ourselves a 10.” pic.twitter.com/WVr8IL2Lx4
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 19, 2017
Rosselló declined to rate the federal relief efforts, instead saying that the White House has answered “all of our petitions.”
“In these emergencies, things might have the appearance that they are stabilizing at one point, but you always have future problems that can arise such as public health emergencies and otherwise,” Rosselló said. “We really want to take all of the big picture.”
CNN profiled a group of volunteer physicians this week that said they’re concerned Puerto Rico could be headed toward a full-blown health crisis.
“Trauma centers are overwhelmed. Basic surgeries are being postponed. I’ve seen people lose digits because they couldn’t be treated in time,” said Dr. William Kotler, a senior resident in emergency medicine with Florida Hospital in Orlando, who spent two weeks volunteering on the island earlier this month.
At a hospital in Carolina on the northeastern coast, Kotler and Trivino had to perform emergency surgery and attach a temporary pacemaker to a patient whose heart rate was abnormally slow.
“It was 95 degrees in this ER room. She was sweating profusely and vomiting,” said Kotler. “I held her hand and stroked her head. It’s what I could do to comfort her.”
There were also several patients who didn’t make it. In Aguadilla, it was a 42-year-old man in cardiac arrest. “He had a fever of 107 degrees. It was burning hot in the hospital. We scrambled to find ice packs to cool him down,” said Kotler.
He died the next day.
“If you have a major heart attack in Puerto Rico, right now, the odds are stacked against you,” said Trivino.