The Miami New Times reported yesterday that Trump’s luxury Doral hotel is raking in money from wealthy guests paying up to $500 per room to lounge by the pool swilling high-end cocktails served by bikini-clad waitresses before Hurricane Irma hits South Florida.
Even worse, some foreign magnates are even looking at their stay as a kind of safari to see how the other 99% prepare for a natural disaster:
“I came for pleasure,” [Ilam Goldman] says, “but we don’t have any hurricanes in Brazil, so now I get to see how people here are dealing with it.”
For the past week, he says, he’s been living in “a big room with a king-size bed and nice, new furniture” as part of a $4,000-per-person package that also includes a small rental car. Valet parking costs $34 a night.
Trump’s hotel appears to have no intention of opening their doors to regular folks who may need shelter in the wake of the storm. Gomes writes that one receptionist claimed the hotel is “fully booked” during and after the storm. But Cari Farinas, the hotel’s PR manager, implied that they’re not completely booked, they’re just not “taking reservations anymore.”
In other words, they’re not letting in “the rabble.”
Meanwhile, Trump released a budget proposal earlier this year that would slash funding for all the agencies that would help with preparedness and relief for natural disasters like Hurricane Irma: FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), HUD (Housing and Urban Development), the National Weather Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Isabella V. Gomes, the writer of the New Times article went on to report that:
Less than a mile away, desperate Miamians scramble to buy cases of water bottles, AAA batteries, and canned tuna. The choices are limited — many grocery stores have announced they’re out of stock of even the most basic necessities, and gas is increasingly difficult to find across the region.
In fact, just yesterday, a Florida man desperate for gas to evacuate before the Category 4 storm, pulled a gun in a dispute with another evacuee over who would fuel up first.
If ever the generosity of the “businessman president” was required, it would be now, as FEMA’s disaster reserves are running out after the overwhelming destruction Hurricane Harvey levied on Texas.
To make matters worse, he’s soliciting campaign donations on Twitter, as Hurricane Irma prepares to make landfall in Florida.
It seems Donald Trump is finding no shortage of ways to enrich himself while neighbors of his fancy Miami hotel struggle to survive the storm.
Lucia Brawley is a Harvard- and Yale-educated writer, producer, actor, and political organizer. She runs the progressive political Facebook group Consenting to Lead. To learn more, please go to luciabrawley.com.