The people of Puerto Rico still don’t have power and the necessary means to survive. It’s not entirely clear yet if Trump understands that Puerto Rico is part of the United States.
Hurricane Maria devastated the island, but Trump blocked foreign vessels from delivering relief support, pulled back a naval hospital ship, without reason.
Trump made fun of the mayor of San Juan as she waded through the filthy floodwaters to help residents to safety. And then he belittled victims of the storm, throwing paper towels into a crowd like they were t-shirts at a baseball game.
But he’s not done making Puerto Ricans’ lives miserable. Despite that Congress passed a bipartisan disaster aid bill to help the island, the president has not yet allotted the fund they so desperately need.
While Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy traveled to Puerto Rico to assess relief efforts and talk with Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, he was shocked to find that Trump hadn’t sent a single dollar from the funds Congress set aside for the U.S. territory:
It’s important to note that the White House has not released the money that Congress appropriated last year. That was a major issue that came up with our discussions with the governor. We appropriated money, mainly through CDBG funding, and the White House has held that money back. It has not landed on the ground in Puerto Rico, which makes us very reluctant to hand over the keys to the White House with the disaster package passed by the House that doesn’t mandate that a single dime land in Puerto Rico. That bill authorized $90 million to be divided up as the White House desired among the existing disaster declarations.
Given how cavalier this White House has been about the disaster and the recovery in Puerto Rico, we simply don’t believe that it’s responsible for Congress to pass a disaster relief package that doesn’t guarantee money will end up aiding Puerto Rico.
Over 1000 people have died, and about half the island doesn’t have power, as Chris Murphy showed:
The pace of recovery in Puerto Rico is unacceptable. Half the island still has no power. Can you imagine having no power for 100+ days with no end in sight? I’ll keep fighting tooth and nail for additional aid https://t.co/dKJ24owtV5
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 4, 2018
Donald Trump claims his stance is “America First;” and someone should remind him that includes Puerto Ricans.