Trump tweeted 80 times since Maria hit Puerto Rico. Guess how many were about the storm?

Since the outer bands of Hurricane Maria began whipping Puerto Rico on the evening of Sept. 19, President Trump has published 80(!) original tweets. The vast, vast majority of them — as you may have guessed — were not about the deadly storm or his administration's response to it.

To get a better sense of the president's priorities, I've collected every original tweet he's published since Maria hit the island (for the sake of simplicity, I'm not including retweets). The storm wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico, leaving over 3 million people without power and wiping out nearly its entire agriculture industry.


As the hurricane hit, he shared a fairly appropriate presidential message of solidarity.

But his attention there didn't last long.

Eight minutes later, he was tweeting about U.N. business.

Two minutes after that, he thanked a random follower.

Another eight minutes went by as he typed out a message slamming the Emmys.

(It sounds like he's still bitter about never winning one.)

The next morning, Maria continued racing toward Puerto Rico. From Trump's tweets, you wouldn't know it.

He was back to the U.N., blasting Hillary Clinton, and praising Fox News.

At the same time Trump began these early morning tweets, Maria's center was a mere 50 miles southeast of Puerto Rico's populous capital, San Juan. 

Later that day, Trump tweeted about the GOP's latest harmful, unpopular piece of health care legislation and dissed Rand Paul.

He took time to tweet a plug for his stop in Alabama to stump for Senate candidate Luther Strange.

At about that time, experts estimated it would take several hours for the hurricane to pass over all of Puerto Rico, given how slowly the storm is moving (10 mph) — which was not a good sign.

He also updated followers on his recent chats with foreign leaders.

Shortly after Trump tweeted that, the whole island of Puerto Rico lost power.

He tweeted photos from a luncheon with African leaders, conveniently leaving out the fact that he made up an African country to praise its health care.

Even after Puerto Rico went dark, Maria's wind speeds remained dangerously fast, topping out at 115 mph. Still no word from the president, though he did take time to wish Jewish Americans a happy new year.

Around the time the National Hurricane Center reported there was "catastrophic flash flooding" across Puerto Rico, he went on an Alabama health care bender (again).

About 16 hours after Maria made landfall, Trump's attention finally returned to the natural disaster and he again expressed solidarity with Puerto Rico.

Two minutes later, he went back to sharing more self-congratulatory videos and pics from his U.N. meetings.

He bragged about polls.

He published another vague teaser tweet about the U.N.

He blasted Rand Paul (again).

He called Kim Jong-un a "madman."

He accepted a compliment.

He ranted about "fake news," Russia, and Clinton.

He promoted his Alabama rally. Again.

He shared a U.N. video that seemed more like a movie trailer.

He thanked American Airlines for helping Hurricane Maria victims...

...but failed to specify how the federal government would increase efforts to do so and said nothing about helping Puerto Rico.

He went on and on about Alabama and Arizona.

He put more pressure on Paul (again) and went on and on about Alabama and Alaska.

Four days after Maria hit, Trump was busy attacking Stephen Curry and the NFL.

He boasted about Melania Trump, criticized Iran, and roasted John McCain.

By the time he was attacking NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for not condemning the #TakeAKnee protests, more and more aerial footage from Puerto Rico was being released showing complete disaster across the island.

Still, no formal statement from Trump himself addressing the destruction.

He called Kim Jong-un "Little Rocket Man."

He turned his attention back to pro sports.

He then segued to health care...

...before going back to the NFL.

He talked about making America scared — er, safe.

While Trump was randomly praising NASCAR fans, the complete devastation Maria brought to Puerto Rico came into full view.  

But the president still hadn't publicly addressed how his administration would help. He went back to attacking the NFL again.  

He talked about tax cuts.

He talked about the NFL.

Finally, six days after Maria first made landfall, he — wait, sound the alarm — tweeted about Puerto Rico! Except...

He didn't so much update Americans on what's being done to help those in need, as much as he seemingly blamed hurricane victims for their poor infrastructure and mounting debt.

Because time is a flat circle, he then went back to blasting McCain.

And talking about Alabama.

And attacking athletes.

And more Alabama.

And more Fox News.

He thanked San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz for essentially thanking him...

NFL. Alabama.

Added a few pics from inside the White House...

...and gave a shoutout to Nikki Haley to cap it off.

All in all, just six of Trump's 80 tweets since Hurricane Maria began pummeling Puerto Rico had to do with the crisis itself. Six.

As The Washington Post reported, it's really not complicated: Trump is more interested in the NFL than saving Puerto Ricans.

The president has a lot of responsibilities, of course. But saving American lives in the wake of natural disaster should be a top priority.

Maria was the third-strongest hurricane ever to plow into a U.S. territory. It's killed at least 16 people in Puerto Rico thus far (but officials fear that number will likely rise). Nearly the entire island still has no electricity or cellphone service. Hospitals are barely functioning.

After facing a barrage of criticism pointing to his lack of response (or, evidently, interest), Trump confirmed on Tuesday that food, water, and other supplies were being shipped to the island and that he plans on visiting next week to assess the damage. One reason his administration was slow to respond? Puerto Rico "is in the middle of an ocean," he explained. "It's a big ocean. It's a very big ocean."

Puerto Rico needs us now. Here's how you can help supply aid to Puerto Rico.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

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