On Tuesday, Trump visited storm-wracked Puerto Rico, immediately making headlines by suggesting that Hurricane Maria was not a “real catastrophe” like Hurricane Katrina because the (still-rising) death count was lower. He also tossed rolls of paper towels to needy victims like he was shooting hoops:
Everything about Trump’s attitude revealed how divorced he is from real struggle and suffering. On Wednesday, The Washington Post published this incredible exchange between Trump and a church member who was distributing water purification kits:
The church is also distributing water purification kits, and a member explained the process to the president.
“Wait,” Trump said, “you put it in dirty water?”
“And then you can drink it after 10 to 12 hours,” she explained.
“Would you do it? Would you drink it?” he asked.
“Sure,” she said.
“Really?” Trump said, a disgusted look coming across his face.
“Really,” she said.
“Is this your company or something?” Trump asked the woman, seeming suspicious of the aggressive pitch.
“No,” she said, “I’m part of the church.”
There has perhaps never been a more Trumpian exchange. He cannot possibly imagine that someone would be helping others for humanitarian reasons. And he isn’t even familiar with the idea of water purification, or that people in parts of the world might not have clean water to drink.
And then there was this [emphasis added]:
Trump passed out yellow bags of rice and then started tossing rolls of towels into the crowd as if he were shooting free-throws. The crowd laughed and cheered him on. When he contemplated doing the same with the cans of chicken, the crowd gently told him no.