Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How Trump politicizes natural disasters

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No matter which party you're in, when you're the president, you're going to be

dealing with natural disasters. It's one of the few occasions that transcends

politics, but not anymore.

In the last two years, there have been 27 natural disasters in the United States,

each costing more than a billion dollars in damage.

Last September, Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico were all hit with

devastating category 4 hurricanes. And this year has seen the deadliest and

most destructive wildfires in U.S. history along with several record-breaking hurricanes.

But the president's response to these have been inconsistent, to say the least.

Trump seems to favor states where Republicans are in charge. Trump went to Texas twice in the

first eight days after Harvey, and after Irma he traveled to Florida within four

days. How long after Maria hit did it take him to go to Puerto Rico? Thirteen

days. This year Trump made it to Florida and North Carolina within a week, but it

took him nine days to plan a trip to California. His public comments followed

the same pattern.

You have a great governor of Florida. The job that Rick has done is being talked about all over.

You have a great, great governor.

The job you've done has been incredible.

But when he talks about places where Democrats are in charge, well see if you can hear a difference:

Now, I hate to tell you Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of wack

because we've spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico.

We're tired of giving California hundreds and hundreds of millions of

dollars all the time for their forest fires, when you wouldn't have them if

they manage their forest properly. That's -- oh California, get on the ball 'cause we're

not gonna hand you any more money. It's ridiculous, okay?

And there's the federal response. The government deployed 20,000 more workers

to assist in Texas than it did in Puerto Rico. It also awarded about

$4 million more for housing assistance.

His preferences become especially clear on Twitter, where he

denigrated Puerto Rico for its infrastructure and debt crisis less than

a week after the hurricane made landfall, before even visiting the island. He made

similarly critical statements within a week of the 2018 California wildfire

outbreak, but Florida, Texas, and Georgia he's had nothing but praise for them.

Even a year later, Trump is still tweeting about Maria, working to

undermine the widely accepted death toll and insulting the politicians. It seems

not even natural disasters can rise above politics in today's climate.

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