US President Donald Trump took credit for 2017 being the safest year for commercial aviation and Twitter is ruthlessly roasting him for it. In a widely criticised tweet on Tuesday (2 January), Trump wrote: "Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news - it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!"
The Republican was referring to a report by the Aviation Safety Network (ASN), which stated that 2017 marked the safest year on record for commercial aviation worldwide with no fatal passenger jet airliner crashes. No US passenger airline has reportedly had a fatal crash since 2009.
Although the significant milestone is commendable, aviation officials and experts said Trump cannot claim responsibility for the clean safety record. The "steady and persistent" decline in airline accidents since 1997 can be attributed to the sustained efforts of international aviation safety organisations, ASN stated in the news release.
"It's impossible to link the worldwide level of safety directly to recent US policy changes," ASN President Harro Ranter told Reuters. "US efforts have been instrumental to get to where we are today, but it takes years for policy changes to reach effect, and only in conjunction with other efforts by the aviation industry."
At a press briefing, White House press secretary did not directly respond to questions whether Trump's predecessor Barack Obama deserved credit for the feat.
"The president has raised the bar for our nation's aviation safety and security," Sanders told reporters. She cited Trump's proposal to privatise the air traffic control system — which has not yet been approved by Congress — and new "enhanced security measures" by the Department of Homeland Security.
"The president is very happy that there were no commercial airline deaths in 2017 and we hope that that trend continues well into 2018 and beyond," Sanders said.
Meanwhile, Twitter furiously slammed the US president for taking credit for the global achievement.
While many questioned his "strict" stance on commercial air travel, others sarcastically came up with some other accomplishments for which he can take credit.
"Unlike Obama, Trump won't let any planes crash. Not even a little bit. He's very strict," one user wrote.
Another added: "We had no gas explosions in our house this year. Thank you, Mr. President, for your hands-on leadership of FERC."
Retired astronaut Mark Kelly tweeted: "If you're going to take credit for zero airline deaths in 2017 then you should take responsibility for the tens of thousands of gun deaths, too. #lawsmatter"