Donald Trump tossing paper towels into a crowd of Puerto Rico residents in October 2017 resurfaced on social media, as President Joe Biden pledged full support for the island, which was once again struck by a natural disaster.
“Today, I approved an Expedited Major Disaster Declaration for Puerto Rico in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Fiona,” Mr Biden tweeted on Wednesday. “I will continue to ensure the full force of the Federal government is mobilized to support the people of Puerto Rico.”
“Trump tossed paper towels into the crowd after Hurricane Maria,” one Twitter user responded.
“While Trump dithered and threw paper towels after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, Biden has acted quickly and decisively to the devastation of Hurricane Fiona,” another added.
“Trump responds to Puerto Rican with paper towels. Biden sends real help,” a third person said.
“Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Fiona can’t compare to the disaster of Hurricane Trump,” Clay Jones wrote.
“Hey Republicans, THIS is how a President acts. He’s not just ‘thinking’ about helping the people of Puerto Rico, He’s acting. I know, shocking,” one Twitter user said.
“What a difference from throwing paper towels and attempting to sell our Island to this. Thank you,” another Twitter user added.
“We’re surging federal resources to Puerto Rico and we’ll do everything — everything we can to meet the urgent needs you have,” Mr Biden said on Thursday. “We know they’re real and they’re significant”.
The Puerto Rican government’s emergency portal said late on Wednesday that around 450,000 residences didn’t have water and around a million homes and businesses didn’t electricity after the storm hit on 18 September. “I approved that declaration of disaster, the emergency disaster declaration, bringing the full force of the federal government to respond, knowing full well what catastrophic effects — how catastrophic they can be,” Mr Biden said.
He said he told FEMA to “make sure that people in Puerto Rico have everything, everything they could possibly need that we can provide”.
“It’s okay to ask for help. This is a place you should ask for help. There’s … no credit for not asking for help,” he said, urging residents to seek out the aid available.