Every week brings a new national tragedy in Trump’s America, it seems, and last night’s episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver breaks down one that gained media traction over the weekend: The destruction Hurricane Maria has wrought on Puerto Rico, and President Donald Trump’s narcissistic, piss-poor reaction to it.
In brief: Over the weekend, Trump threw a hissy fit after San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz gave a televised speech begging for help for the people of her city, tweeting from the golf course that she “has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump” and had “poor leadership ability.” He went on to add that the people of Puerto Rico “want everything to be done for them” before telling them not to believe “fake news,” a statement that didn’t reach anyone in Puerto Rico because they currently have no electricity to watch the news, let alone go on Twitter.
Perhaps with that in mind, Oliver says he’s not sure if Trump really understands the gravity of the situation, before ripping into Trump’s characterization of Puerto Ricans as “lazy,” which is itself a lazy racist stereotype. “Trump is basically saying, ‘when hurricanes hit our people, they’re not hitting our best,’” Oliver said, riffing on the infamous characterization of Mexicans as criminals that kicked off Trump’s presidential campaign. “they’re killing poors, they’re killing lazies, and some of them, I assume, have said nice things about me.”