Trump scrambles to convince Americans he can handle Puerto Rico crisis

Violet Powell
September 28, 2017

President Trump's repeated criticisms of the NFL's national anthem protests - coupled with his less-visible rhetoric about helping Puerto Rico - has struck a sour note with singer Marc Anthony. That limits the number of available boats, even in unusual, extreme situations such as what Puerto Rico is experiencing now.

Cellphones in hand, they searched for a signal that would allow them to call their daughter, Dorany Rodriguez-Baltazar, to let her know that while they were fine, one of her uncles had died and much of her island home had been destroyed by Hurricane Maria.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump vowed that federal assistance was on its way to Puerto Rico, a day after he commented for the first time in days about the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria since it made landfall on the USA territory.

"Everybody has said it's wonderful the job that we've done in Puerto Rico", Trump said during a Rose Garden news conference. "Their entire life, I mean some of them were given 30 minutes notice that they had to be at the airport and pack up stuff and they were gone".

One of the Trump's tweets on Monday night asserted that "food, water and medical are top priorities - and doing well". "Temporarily loosening these requirements-for the express goal of disaster recovery-will allow Puerto Rico to have more access to the oil needed for its power plants, food, medicines, clothing, and building supplies", they wrote in a letter to Homeland Security acting secretary Elaine Duke.

The mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, concurs.

Hopes of finding quake survivors all but vanish in Mexico
Geological Survey says the new natural disaster had a magnitude of 6.1 and was centred in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Aftershocks followed in the south-western part of the country as recently as the weekend. "We're not there yet", Cross said.

Trump can help by shining a light on the crisis, perhaps with a visit (he has promised one to both Puerto Rico and the badly hit U.S. Virgin Islands). "Just like we treated people in Florida and Texas", he concluded. Local government officials say Puerto Rico is on the verge of a humanitarian disaster, and estimate the island could be without power for up to six months. "It is unacceptable to force the people of Puerto Rico to pay at least twice as much for food, clean drinking water, supplies and infrastructure due to Jones Act requirements as they work to recover from this disaster". The Martinez family hopes once they get everything collected, they can get it to Puerto Rico as soon as they can. "There's two issues with Puerto Rico".

The Trump administration has made previous efforts to help. "We have a lot of people, and I'm going there on Tuesday as you probably have heard".

Because of Puerto Rico's location amid the Caribbean islands, it is often forgotten by policymakers in Washington and by residents' fellow Americans.

Soto also said he is talking with Florida lawmakers about making sure the state is ready with food, schools, hospitals and shelters for people coming from Puerto Rico. The island has been struggling for years with a recession and debt that has grown to more than $70 billion.

Earlier today, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford testified to the Senate that the military had the capability to support relief efforts in Puerto Rico, but that these efforts would be contingent on securing and rebuilding the island's airfields and ports, according to "I was ashamed of what was taking place".

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