In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction in Texas in what FEMA Director William “Brock” Long has called the “worst disaster in Texas history,” Donald Trump arrived in the Lone Star state to be briefed on the recovery process. During the meeting, he had an unscripted moment and put his ignorance on full display.
— ABC News (@ABC) August 29, 2017
Says Harvey "sounds like such an innocent name," but there's probably "never been something so expensive in our country's history." pic.twitter.com/WPFYoVvDPA
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) August 29, 2017
— jonathantilove (@JTiloveTX) August 29, 2017
This is the President of the United States attempting to qualify the strength of the storm by virtue of its name. Hurricane names, of course, are established by the World Meteorological Organization and assigned on a six-year rotation. Names are not, however, chosen to correspond with either the “innocence” or the seriousness of the storm.
If Trump was serious, then perhaps the leader of the free world should display at least a modicum of restraint to not say every inane, fleeting thought that comes to mind. And if he was joking, maybe he should save the stand up routine for a moment when people are not struggling to survive in Texas.
Trump even went a step further by suggesting that there’s “never been something so expensive in our country’s history.” Experts have suggested that Harvey could cost between $25 and $35 billion, with one forecaster predicting that the final bill could be as high as $100 billion if insurance costs are taken into account. That sum, however, would not even come close to the $176 billion in total economic losses inflicted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, just over one decade ago.
While the reality television host in Trump may be eager to “charm” everyone with his sophomoric sense of humor, his unscripted remarks have only served to expose his childish character.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.