I’ve heard people talking about how President Trump isn’t doing enough to help Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
Once again, these rumors are a direct result of the media’s false portrayal of a situation in order to cast a bad light on the Trump Administration.
It’s been 11 days since Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico.
In this short period, the U.S. government has provided unprecedented amounts of food, water, and supplies necessary to help a population of 3.4 million people.
FEMA’s response to Maria has been one of the agency’s biggest responses ever. There are currently more than 10,000 shipping containers and more than 10,000 people from FEMA on the island right now.
Many have pointed to the Fed’s responses to Harvey and Irma when criticizing its response to Maria. But its difficult to compare since in US, the states have developed considered considerable capability and took charge of their own preparation and response. FEMA provided supplementary services to support the States.
Puerto Rico lacks preparation and solid infrastructure, which is making things very difficult for FEMA. In fact, some of the island’s leaders don’t seem to have thought about any of this until after the hurricane was on its way.
In some cases, including Mayor Yulin Cruz of San Juan, they fall short on preparation, leadership and the will to take on their problems directly.
“We have done a great job with the almost impossible situation in Puerto Rico,” tweeted Trump. “Outside of the Fake News or politically motivated ingrates…people are now starting to realize the amazing work that has been done by FEMA and our great Military.”
One of those ingrates is San Juan Mayor Yulin Cruz, who has loudly and repeatedly criticized Trump’s inability to get supplies and electricity to the island, while the means to do so is sitting her own port.
“Such poor leadership 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,” tweeted Trump on Saturday. He also suggested that Cruz had been instructed by Democrats to “be nasty” to him.
“I’ve been quite complimentary of the people from HHS and FEMA. Their heart is in the right place, but we have to cut the red tape. That’s the one message,” Cruz told ABC on Sunday. “And number two, let us not talk about the debt, let us not talk about the cost of reconstruction. Let’s just talk about saving lives right now, putting back the power grid as soon as we can, because that has an immediate effect on our ability to recover financially.”
Guaynabo Mayor Angel Perez says he has had a great experience with FEMA and has criticized Cruz for failing to attend meetings with the agency.
“[Cruz] is not participating in any meetings and we had a couple already with the governors and with representation of FEMA and of HUD, of these whole federal agencies that have given us help and she’s not participating in those meetings and some mayors from her political party have been participating, so I don’t know why she is saying that. My experience is very different,” said Perez. “Some would like the help to be faster but we also know that FEMA is dealing with what happened in Houston and in Florida and now in Puerto Rico.”
Perez also pointed out that the island’s financial crisis has left it largely unable to fix its own problems. He said it could take the island “maybe a decade” to recover without assistance from Congress and the President.
Perez says he is very much looking forward to Trump’s visit to the island this Tuesday. “In other times there’s been other presidents that never visited. So right now by President Trump coming here, it’s very helpful and giving us the expectation and the hope that the help will be coming to Puerto Rico.”