Puerto Rico In Crisis

Just a few weeks after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, ravaging the U.S territory and killing 16 people, the small country is still suffering from the harrowing effects of the storm.  

Millions of people are still without clean water and power after the Island nation’s power grid was ravaged during the storm. Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosello is asking for an aid package from Congress for the 3.4-million American citizens still in dire need.  

Trump landed on the island on Tuesday, October 2nd to assist Governor Rosello in relief efforts, but not before tweeting out “The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump. Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.” as well as tweeting to the people of Puerto Rico not to believe the “#fakenews” about the state of the country and the quality of aid the United States has provided the territory.

In response to the Presidents tweets Roselló said “I don't feel that (Trump's) message was sent in general. I am committed to collaborating with everybody. This is a point where we can't look at small differences. We can't establish differences based on politics."

In the meantime “the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal groups, such as the Department of Health and Human Services, have been on the island since the storm landed". FEMA has deployed “six federal Urban Search and Rescue task forces” while the “Department of Defense deployed helicopters for rescue flights, as the U.S. Coast Guard were en route to operate nine vessels off the islands.” According to Rolling Stone.  

Despite the increasing efforts to give aid, Trump has been criticized for not paying much attention to the disaster in Puerto Rico, but rather constantly bringing up Puerto Rico’s debt crisis as well as making odd statements that seem to condemn Puerto Rico rather than offer support and solace, such as:  “Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble..”

On Tuesday, CNN reported the conference Trump had with Puerto Rican Officials:

"Every death is a horror," Trump said, "but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina and you look at the tremendous -- hundreds and hundreds of people that died -- and you look at what happened here with, really, a storm that was just totally overpowering ... no one has ever seen anything like this."

"What is your death count?" he asked as he turned to Governor Ricardo Rosselló. "17?"

"16," Rosselló answered.

"16 people certified," Trump said. "Sixteen people versus in the thousands. You can be very proud of all of your people and all of our people working together. Sixteen versus literally thousands of people. You can be very proud. Everybody watching can really be very proud of what's taken place in Puerto Rico."

Despite these statements, “the bulk of Trump's remarks on Tuesday focused on praising his administration's response to the destructive hurricane” according to CNN, and the ongoing relief efforts continue thanks to the U.S military and FEMA.

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