The Boston Red Sox’s manager plans to skip his team’s visit to the White House this week to celebrate their World Series win, citing his disapproval of the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
Alex Cora, the Red Sox manager, told reporters Sunday he will not accompany his team to the White House on Thursday when they go to celebrate their 2018 World Series win with President Donald Trump, according to CNN affiliate NESN.
Cora, a native of Caguas, Puerto Rico, said the government has done “some things back home that are great,” but added that “we still have a long ways to go.”
“That’s our reality. You know, it’s pretty tough, you know, to go celebrate when we’re in where we’re at,” Cora said. “I’d rather not go. And, you know, just be consistent with everything.”
The Trump administration was widely criticized for its response to the devastation caused in 2017 by Hurricane Maria to Puerto Rico, which left nearly 3,000 people dead.
President Donald Trump, in a tweet Monday, defended the administration’s response with misleading statistics about Puerto Rico aid.
“Puerto Rico has been given more money by Congress for Hurricane Disaster Relief, 91 Billion Dollars, than any State in the history of the U.S. As an example, Florida got $12 Billion & Texas $39 Billion for their monster hurricanes. Now the Democrats are saying NO Relief to Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and others unless much more money is given to Puerto Rico,” Trump said in a series of tweets.
He continued: “The Dems don’t want farmers to get any help. Puerto Rico should be very happy and the Dems should stop blocking much needed Disaster Relief!”
But that $91 billion figure is misleading at best, according to The Washington Post. The aid totals $41 billion in announced funding from multiple agencies, which has mostly not been spent yet. The additional $50 billion, officials told the Post, “(refers) to an internal Office of Management and Budget estimate of the potential liabilities over the life of the disaster that would need to be committed under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1988. The estimate was described as a high-end estimate subject to change year by year.”
Cora revealed last year that during contract negotiations with the Red Sox in 2017, he requested as part of his deal a plane full of supplies to help people that were struggling in the wake of the storm. In January 2018, he traveled to his hometown with several Boston personalities to personally deliver the supplies, which included diapers, batteries, funds and new baseball equipment for the neighborhood children.
Other professional athletes have skipped out on invitations by Trump to visit the White House to celebrate recent wins, including the Washington Capitals’ Braden Holtby following the team’s 2018 Stanley Cup win and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins after the team won the Super Bowl in 2018.
CNN’s Dan Berman and Jill Martin contributed to this report.