Just when you think the situation in Puerto Rico couldn't get anymore disgraceful, the Trump administration finds news ways to denigrate the concept of government:
As of Wednesday, half of Puerto Ricans had access to drinking water and 5 percent of the island had electricity, according to statistics published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on its Web page documenting the federal response to Hurricane Maria.
By Thursday morning, both of those key metrics were no longer on the Web page.
The Washington Post reports that FEMA spokesperson William Booth helpfully points out that the now missing information is still available on a website maintained by Puerto Rico, presumably because the Trump administration couldn't order them to take it down. Booth, however, couldn't seem to explain why FEMA had stopped tracking the vital information itself.
Not that he needed to, of course. It's obvious that in an administration obsessed with the illusion of competence (just the illusion, mind you, becuase actual competence is hard!), any information that casts them in a bad light is to be disappeared down the memory hole as rapidly as possible. 6 months from now, when power and water are fully restored (hopefully), Trump will go on television and tell the world that Puerto Rico barely suffered any hardship at all and anyone that says otherwise, including the Puerto Ricans themselves, is lying to you.
It's impossible to convey how dangerous this willingness to hide damaging facts from the public is. Republicans already wage a war on facts by removing references to sea level rise and climate change from government reports but the Trump administration is taking it to unprecedented new levels, literally deleting its own data that contradict its preferred messaging. This is not how a free and open democracy works. This is how a classic dictatorship operates.
And it will only get worse the longer they get away with it.
Puerto Rico is still a humanitarian crisis and Trump must be held accountable for his appallingly slow response. He's going to direct his lackeys to rewrite history and bury the truth both at the top of their lungs and as quietly as possible. We cannot let that happen. The suffering 3.5 million American citizens are going through because of Trump's racism and incompetence deserves to be seen and heard, not silenced and erased.
There are 31 days left to the the 2017 elections.
There are 395 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
Please consider becoming a paid member of The Daily Banter and supporting us in holding the Trump administration to account. Your help is needed more than ever, and is greatly appreciated.