North America cannot seem to catch a break from the storms ravaging the states.
First Hurricane Harvey struck the Gulf, followed shortly by Hurricane Irma, which washed over several Caribbean islands and Florida. In the following couple of weeks, Hurricanes Jose and Katia occurred, battering more islands in the Gulf. Now Hurricane Maria has devastated Puerto Rico, and as of Saturday is moving toward the Carolinas.
As if that wasn’t enough, two major earthquakes occurred in Mexico, killing hundreds and destroying many structures throughout central Mexico.
Now, the tens of thousands of individuals affected by all of these disasters have to try and get their lives back together, and the United States is often expected to lend a helping hand in these situations. The president specifically is expected to lead the charge in relief efforts during natural disasters, and for Harvey and Irma, President Donald Trump did exactly that, but he seemingly failed to turn to our southern border after their own natural disasters.
After two major hurricanes made landfall in the U.S. in the span of a few weeks, one may say that Trump had more important problems to handle. However, following Harvey, Mexico was swift to offer aid to Texas during their time of need, despite a barrage of derogatory comments flying toward the nation by President Trump himself. This aid was withdrawn following the 8.1 magnitude quake and some point to a lack of sympathy from the president as the main cause. I strongly disagree.
While President Trump should have called earlier, blaming a three-day wait for the call on “poor cell service,” Mexico simply has higher priorities at this moment, and understandably so. A nation’s top priority should always be its own people, so Mexico has every right to focus on its domestic issues. So by that logic, we should only focus on our domestic issues, right?
However, the U.S. has established that the lives of all people, even those beyond our borders, deserve a chance at life. This nation, despite suffering from multiple hurricanes recently, is still in a position to offer aid to others. After all, most of the country was unaffected by Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and just as the other states in the union can aid those who were affected in the country, they can aid the Mexican people as well.
After the second major earthquake hit Mexico, a lower magnitude but closer to the capital, President Trump was quick to offer condolences and send rescue teams to Mexico City. Relief efforts are pending for Puerto Rico. Response is what is going to keep America as a symbol of hope to the rest of the world, and hopefully this Trump administration will be swifter in offering aid in the future to both foreign and domestic places in need.