Rep. Luis Gutierrez Smears U.S. Military as AWOL in Puerto Rico Hurricane

September 17th, 2018 8:00 AM

Retiring Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) went on the most recent edition of Univision's weekly political talker Al Punto, in order to discuss immigration and the Trump administration's response to the devastation that Hurricane Maria wrought upon Puerto Rico. But in the process of scoring a point against the administration, he smeared the United States Armed Forces.

Here's Gutierrez, blithely asserting that the U.S. Military never went into Puerto Rico to augment the federal response to Hurricane Maria:

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR ANCHOR, UNIVISION: So, did three thousand people die in Puerto Rico, or did they not die, per the President?

U.S. REP. LUIS GUTIÉRREZ (D-IL): Jorge, I was there ten days after the hurricane. noon...gridlocked. In other words, if you were sick you couldn’t get to the hospital. Ah?

RAMOS: But is that President Trump’s fault?

GUTIÉRREZ: This is the most powerful country, the most sophisticated, with greater resources than anywhere else. Did you see the U.S. Army? The most powerful, the most sophisticated army? They never went in. Did you see the resources? We’re a year out.

Narrator: "They did go in." 

Per The Washington Post:

The top U.S. general overseeing hurricane relief in Puerto Rico said the military will establish numerous hospitals there in coming days, as thousands of additional troops and dozens more helicopters arrive.

Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan described in a phone interview a mission that is still evolving as the U.S. government grapples with an extended response to Hurricane Maria, which devastated the U.S. island territory Sept. 20 with Category-4 force, killing at least 34 people. Buchanan arrived eight days later, when about 4,100 U.S. troops were involved in relief efforts throughout Puerto Rico. Since then, that number has more than doubled, to 9,000, including about 4,000 members of the National Guard, he said.

At least a “couple thousand” more troops will deploy from the U.S. mainland, Buchanan said. The Puerto Rico National Guard, whose members were slow to activate as they dealt with devastation in their own homes and carried out full-time jobs as first responders, also is expected to play a bigger role, he said.

To be clear, I'm not expecting accurate descriptions of the U.S. Military from someone who thinks that convicted FALN terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera is somehow comparable to George Washington. I remember when it was reasonable to expect a sitting Member of Congress not to smear our armed forces while in the process of exploiting a national tragedy for partisan gain. But here we are.

Jorge Ramos couldn't be bothered to muster up the most basic of fact-checks on the most blatant of public misrepresentations. Maybe there's a "so long as it hits Trump, it's cool" exemption to his professed stands against "public lies".