Trump Attacks Puerto Rico, Threatens To Pull Out Emergency Responders

Trump’s tweets come just weeks after Puerto Rico was slammed by Hurricane Maria. FEMA said that as of Tuesday, 21 days since Maria made landfall, 84 percent of people on the island remained without electricity and only 63 percent had potable water. Many others have been without housing and basic necessities.

Maria Gonzalez, who has remained stranded in a remote area of western Puerto Rico, broke down in tears this week as she told NBC News that she had cancer and was in grave need of a generator.

 

She offered a desperate plea to FEMA: “Come on! Do what you’re supposed to do.”

FEMA says that 19,000 civilian and military service personnel are working in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The agency is hosting job fairs in Ponce to hire 1,200 people for the relief effort.

 

Later Thursday, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, is planning a return visit to the Puerto Rico amid the announcement Wednesday that FEMA is expanding its leadership team there.

 

Nevertheless, criticism has steadily mounted over the Trump administration’s response to what is being called an unfolding humanitarian crisis, with some likening the situation to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Rosselló raised the death toll from the storm to 43.

 

But Trump himself has repeatedly lashed out at Puerto Rican officials, including Cruz, who has pleaded for more federal assistance.

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