Donald Trump announced that the government is “absolutely, totally prepared” to handle Hurricane Florence yesterday from the Oval Office.
Florence, a category three hurricane, is expected to hit the Carolinas with 125 mph winds overnight Thursday. Over a million people throughout the Carolinas and Virginia have been ordered to evacuate.
Trump went onto say that “We're as ready as anyone has ever been [for a hurricane]." The President praised his administration for how they handled the fallout from Hurricane Maria last year in Texas and in Florida. He also called his response to the devastation caused in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria an “incredible unsung success.”
“I think, in a certain way, the best job we did was Puerto Rico, but nobody would understand that. It is harder to understand," he said.
Estimates put the death toll in Puerto Rico close to 3,000 people.
National security expert Juliette Kayyem called Trump’s comments “dangerous” and “crazy” on Boston Public Radio Wednesday.
“[Trump] said we are fully prepared for this very wet, very big storm, that is just, sorry to be technical about it, B.S.,” she said.
Kayyem said that Trump’s comments are misleading and could make people think that they are no longer in danger.
“You don’t want to give people a false sense of security that there are going to be government resources when we know that the government resources are — local, state, and federal — are going to be expended,” she said.
Kayyem pointed to how people flocked to the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina after being told that it would be an evacuation point and last resort shelter. “People sort of viewed that as it will be prepared for us, and of course it wasn’t,” she said.
“You want to actually scare people more than you would necessarily need,” she continued.
Kayyem worries that Trump’s praise for his administration's response in Puerto Rico, shows that he has not learned enough to not make the same mistakes.
“If you actually believe that the lesson learned from Puerto Rico is that it was an A-plus or whatever, then I would assume that not a lot has been learned,” she said.