Mexico said Wednesday it will send aid to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico — a day after President Donald Trump's disastrous visit to the U.S. territory during which he complained to victims that catastrophic damage to their island had thrown his budget "out of whack."
The Mexican government said it would send 30 tons of bottled water and mosquito repellent, plus experts in power generation, transmission and distribution, Reuters reports.
Hurricane Maria killed dozens in Puerto Rico, left more than half of the island's 3.4 million residents without clean drinking water and 95 percent without power.
Critics say Trump's overall response to this crisis has been inadequate and even inappropriate at times — especially in relation to his tweets attacking San Juan's mayor.
The president's visit to Puerto Rico on Tuesday included not only his comment about the cost of repairing the destroyed island, but a casual reference to Hurricane Maria not being "a real catastrophe like Katrina" because of what he considers a low overall death toll, which actually doubled in the hours after he left. At one point, the president awkwardly tossed paper towels at people in the crowd as if performing at a carnival.
And after families showed Trump the damage Hurricane Maria inflicted on their homes, the president said, "Have a good time," as he departed.
"[Trump] was insulting to the people of Puerto Rico," San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said Tuesday night. "This was a PR, 17-minute meeting. There was no exchange with anybody, with none of the mayors. And in fact, this terrible and abominable view of him throwing paper towels and throwing provisions at people, it really — it does not embody the spirit of the American nation, you know?
"He kind of minimized our suffering here by saying that Katrina was a real disaster, sort of implying that this was not a real disaster because not many people have died here,” Cruz added. "Well you know what? They’re dying. They don’t have the medical resources."
Back on the U.S. mainland, the response to Trump's visit wasn't much better.
"Mr. President, enough. Stop blaming Puerto Rico for the storm that devastated their shores, and roll up your sleeves and get the recovery on track. That’s your job as president," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Mexico's offer of aid is timely, but comes after uncomfortable exchanges between Trump and the Mexican government after Hurricane Harvey and earthquakes that devastated parts of southern Mexico.
Mexico was set to send aid to Texas after Harvey hit the state in August, but withdrew the offer after the earthquakes in September. Trump offered delayed condolences to Mexico over the initial quake, which killed nearly 100 people, and later said he wasn't able to reach Mexican President Enrique Peńa Nieto due to poor cellphone reception.
Trump's relationship with Mexico has been troubled from his initial presidential campaign announcement when he demonized Mexicans as drug dealers and rapists, though added, "some, I assume, are good people."
He's frequently feuded with Mexico's government over who will pay for a wall he wants to build along the border the two countries share.