Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, a son of Puerto Rican immigrants, has condemned President Trump’s comments on the crisis in Puerto Rico and Trump’s behavior during his recent visit to the storm-ravaged territory. Gutiérrez, who was born in Puerto Rico, said during an interview with MSNBC that the president’s conduct was “deplorable.”

“How sad, how disgraceful that when people are suffering so greatly—when there is such pain and anguish and fear about what the future presents to millions of American citizens on that island—that [Trump] would act with such folly and silliness,” said Gutiérrez, an Illinois Democrat.

“I wish he would stop talking about money,” Gutierrez said in a separate interview with CNN. “What’s a human life worth? How do you put that on the scorecard? There is no cost you can put on a human life.”

In the CNN interview, Gutierrez was specifically responding to comments in which the president compared the disaster to Hurricane Katrina, saying the suffering and death tolls in Puerto Rico are not as significant. Trump said, “I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack because we spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that’s fine.”

The Hill writes:

The president also told Puerto Rico’s governor that he should “be very proud” that only 16 people have died, compared to the thousands who died during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which he called a “real disaster.”

“Sixteen people certified versus in the thousands,” he said. “You can be very proud of all of your people, all of our people working together. Sixteen versus literally thousands of people. You can be very proud.”

Gutiérrez, who just returned from a trip to Puerto Rico, told CNN he expects more people to die in the coming weeks, particularly in rural and mountainous areas of the island.

He said that millions of people are suffering and implied that Trump may not see that because he is only visiting Guaynabo and San Juan.

“That’s flatlands,” Gutiérrez said. “For those of us who have visited the island and have gone into the interior and the mountains, we know that there are people who still don’t have water, who still don’t have food, who still don’t have medical care, and you know what? They’re going to die.”

Gutiérrez also said, “I would hope that as [Trump] likes to talk about fire and the fury of the armed forces of the United States, that he bring them to Puerto Rico. Put that same fire and fury to save the people of Puerto Rico from what is going to be a disaster here on this island.”

The congressman has a history of criticizing Trump, and he skipped the president’s inauguration in an act of protest.

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.