Donald Trump Throws Paper Towels at Hurricane Maria Survivors as He Tours Devastated Puerto Rico

Donald Trump visited Puerto Rico on Tuesday and threw rolls of paper towels into a crowd

President Donald Trump tossed rolls of paper towels into a crowd while visiting Puerto Rico on Tuesday.

The 71-year-old commander in chief was in Gauynabo, Puerto Rico, visiting hurricane survivors at a church when the moment was captured on camera. He also distributed food products, like brown rice.

The video went viral online and drew criticism from social media, with people on Twitter expressing their disbelief and anger, while also writing they believed Trump had thrown toilet paper instead.

Evan Vucci/AP

Trump also drew criticism for his remarks comparing the death count of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina to the crisis in Puerto Rico following two devastating hurricanes.


“Every death is horrible, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous — hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here with really a storm that was just totally overpowering, nobody’s ever seen anything like this,” said Trump, before asking officials at a meeting with local and federal leadership how many have died since Hurricane Maria made landfall on Sept. 20, leaving millions without homes and electricity.

Trump was seemingly pleased to hear the natural disaster has claimed only 16 lives “versus in the thousands” lost during Katrina, praising the leaders, “you can be proud.”

“You can be very proud of all of your people, all of our people working together,” he said.

In the aftermath of the 2005 hurricane — which made landfall in the U.S. three times — a reported 1,833 people died, according to the Washington Post.

Trump also commented on the amount of financial help the U.S. territory seemed to require from the mainland government, saying, “I hate to tell you Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack, because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that’s fine. We’ve saved a lot of lives.”

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