Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico—a commonwealth of the United States—on September 20, bringing with it more than two feet of water and winds that knocked out the power grid and left many stuck in their homes with adequate food, water or the fuel to secure them.
President Donald Trump, who spent his weekend tweeting venom about Black NFL players who protest police violence, did not use his favorite platform to address the issue on the ground until yesterday (September 25).
Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
…It’s old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
…owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities — and doing well. #FEMA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
Trump’s #PuertoRico tweets deconstructed:— Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77) September 26, 2017
1) Puerto Rico not Texas or Florida. 2nd class.
2) Island destroyed but owes $
3) Pay Wall St.
Chicago Tribune/The Associated Press reports that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) head Brock Long and homeland security adviser Tom Bossert visited capital city San Juan on Monday. And Department of Energy workers are reportedly coordinating with FEMA, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and a team from the New York Power Authority to restore power. FEMA says more than 700 staffers are on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as part of a 10,000-strong federal contingent working on the islands.
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, says the 3.4 million American citizens in Puerto Rico need more help from the federal government. He appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today (September 26) to discuss the situation on the ground and appeal for increased, substantial support:
We have a joint center so that we can provide logistical support, food, water, gas around Puerto Rico. But, Mika, this has been an unprecedented disaster, not only for Puerto Rico, but for all of the region. We’re talking about two Category 5 hurricanes passing through Puerto Rico, and my ask is very simple: We need more help. We need more help with resources. We need more help with people being deployed so that we can get logistical support elsewhere. And we need Congress to take action so that we can have an aid package that is real for the American citizens that live in Puerto Rico, and that is flexible so that we can take immediate action.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued a statement yesterday, saying that “our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico remain in our prayers as we make sure they have what they need.”
Click here to learn how you can support people most impacted by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.