As Donald Trump is facing criticism for his response to the disaster in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria, it has emerged he slammed former president Barack Obama’s administration for its response to Hurricane Sandy.
According to Trump, there was no excuse for the fact that people were left without power and water and the businessman suggested Obama’s administration had dealt with Sandy “worse than Katrina.”
In a Twitter post on November 6, 2012, Trump wrote: “The federal gov. has handled Sandy worse than Katrina. There is no excuse why people don't have electricity or fuel yet.”
Millions of people were left without power along the East Coast after Hurricane Sandy hit, with the power outages even affecting 145,000 people in Canada, The Huffington Post reported at the time.
One day after the storm hit, 7.9 million people were left without power, which was reduced by more than a million to 6.3 million people affected by power outages one day later. And a week later, on November 7, just 600,000 people were without power after efforts to tackle the damage caused by the storm.
Prior to Hurricane Sandy making landfall in the U.S., then-president Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Connecticut, Washington, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island, CNN reported. Two days after the storm hit, Obama toured the areas affected.
In comparison, then-president George W. Bush faced criticism for his response to Hurricane Katrina after failing to visit the affected areas in the immediate aftermath of the disaster; instead flying over the devastation in his plane, while the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was also slammed for not acting quickly or effectively enough in the wake of the storm.
Bush himself even acknowledged in his book Decision Points that his response to the storm had been a low point for him.
"That photo of me hovering over the damage suggested I was detached from the suffering on the ground. That was not how I felt. But once that impression was formed, I couldn't change it,” he wrote, in comments that were carried by U.S. News.
Just as Bush’s response to the hurricane saw his popularity dip, Trump has suffered similar criticism over his response to Hurricane Maria; although alongside his perceived lack of action comes censure over the comments he has made about Puerto Rico’s debt and San Juan’s mayor.
His previous comments about Obama’s response to Sandy have also come back to haunt him, with millions of residents in Puerto Rico remaining without power almost a week after Maria hit.
The situation remains so dire that San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on Friday issued a desperate plea for help.
“People are dying in this country,” she said. “I am begging, begging anyone that can hear us, to save us from dying.”