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The president has given his team high marks for previous emergency response efforts.
President Trump said Monday morning that he had ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to put forward its best efforts to respond to a series of tornadoes that killed at least 23 people in Alabama on Sunday.
“FEMA has been told directly by me to give the A Plus treatment to the Great State of Alabama and the wonderful people who have been so devastated by the Tornadoes,” Trump tweeted.
The president has previously given his team high marks for disaster response, but not until initial efforts have been completed. “We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan),” he tweeted in September 2018.
The day before that tweet, Trump said the Puerto Rico response to Hurricane Maria “was one of the best jobs that’s ever been with respect to what this is all about.” But others criticized the federal government’s efforts in the U.S. territory.
Trump’s Alabama directive to FEMA contrasts with his response to recent devastating wildfires in California. In January, he tweeted, “Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!”
A FEMA spokesperson told BuzzFeed News in February that no such order had been given to the agency.
Tom Shoop is the Editor in Chief of Government Executive Media Group.