Remember FEMA chief Brock Long?
Brock is the guy who, in a bungled effort to defend the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria, said this in an interview with Fox News back in January:
Yes, “the most logistically challenging event the United States has ever seen.”
After he made those comments, some folks were quick to point out that there are other historical events that might have a legitimate claim to the top spot on the “logistically challenging” list. A couple of contenders are pictured below:
Then again, Trump is apparently an admirer of the Nazi cause, so I suppose the first one is illegitimate (the Nazis “had a permit“) and knowing the President’s penchant for conspiracy theories, it’s conceivable that this administration believes the second one didn’t actually happen.
So you know, cut Brock some slack.
As you’re probably aware, Hurricane Florence has refocused attention on Trump’s mishandling of the catastrophe in Puerto Rico, and last week, the President went so far as to contend that researchers at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University fabricated the results of a study designed to assess the death toll from Hurricane Maria.
Specifically, Trump claimed the study was a Democrat hoax. Here’s what he said:
3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000.
This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!
That marked a new low for a President who has a habit of one-upping himself when it comes to hitting rock bottom (and there’s some great wordplay there, so do appreciate the artistry).
Well, just when you thought the dispute between the Trump administration and Puerto Rican hurricane victims couldn’t possibly get any more absurd, it did.
Because the above-mentioned Brock Long went on national television Sunday and suggested that some of the post-hurricane casualties in Puerto Rico might be due to husbands beating their wives to death. And yes, I am deadly (no pun intended) serious.
Here is the mind-blowing clip:
Got that? If not, here’s the transcript:
You might see more deaths indirectly occur as time goes on, because people have heart attacks due to stress, they fall off their house trying to fix their roof, they die in car crashes because they went through an intersection where the stoplights weren’t working.
Spousal abuse goes through the roof. You can’t blame spousal abuse after a disaster on anybody.
Now for one thing, yes, you can “blame spousal abuse” on somebody. Namely, the abuser.
But beyond that, if someone dies because the stress of a hurricane causes them to have a “heart attack” or because they “fall off their roof” while trying to repair storm-related damage or because they get T-boned at an intersection after a storm knocks out the stop lights, you cannot properly describe those casualties as “indirect”. They wouldn’t have occurred were it not for the hurricane, so “indirect” doesn’t work as an adjective there. And even if it did, where do you draw the line on that? Using that logic, you could say that someone who drowns in flood waters three days after the hurricane passes didn’t die from the hurricane.
As stupid as all of that is, the spousal abuse bit is outright inexcusable. In fact, it should be grounds for dismissal.
In case this somehow isn’t clear, the idea that a FEMA administrator would go on national television and suggest that hurricane death tolls are inflated because scientific studies are misclassifying deaths from domestic violence as storm-related casualties is so insane that one struggles to comprehend it.
Who knows, maybe Brock is just passing along some kernels of wisdom he gleaned from talking to Rob Porter.