It’s been weeks now since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and yet the majority of the island’s people still lack basic resources. According to a status website set up by the Puerto Rican government, only 17 percent of Puerto Ricans have electricity, and hospitals are running dangerously low on fuel and medicine.
Despite the desperate situation in Puerto Rico, President Trump tweeted on Thursday morning about pulling aid from the island:
‘Congress to decide how much to spend. We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!’
This callous message from the president was not well-received. Even Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) got involved. Schumer tweeted the following message in response to Trump:
‘FEMA needs to stay until the job is done and right now, it’s not even close to done.
‘Why do you continue to treat Puerto Ricans differently than other Americans when it comes to natural disasters?’
Schumer presumably already knows the answer to his question. However, several people have responded anyway.
Schumer is not the only one calling for the Trump administration to do more for Puerto Rico.
On Wednesday, Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló sent a three-page letter to Congress requesting more than $4 billion to “meet the immediate emergency needs of Puerto Rico.”
‘We are grateful for the federal emergency assistance that has been provided so far. However, absent extraordinary measures to address the halt in economic activity in Puerto Rico, the humanitarian crisis will deepen, and the unmet basic needs of the American citizens of Puerto Rico will become even greater.’
Homeland Security’s assistant secretary for infrastructure protection, Chris Krebs, also told CNN that more resources need to be sent to the island.
‘We are making progress. There’s progress on the power side. But we can do more. We can push more resources down into the island.
‘We are pushing everything we can down into Puerto Rico.
‘There are over 17,000 responders, whether it’s military or civilian assets. Over 100 helicopters doing air drops in remote communities, providing water. Each of the 78 municipalities has a dedicated water truck. Another 72 trucks are dedicated to hospitals and other critical services. … Over 50 generators have been installed in critical facilities not just heath care but also now moving into other facilities like schools.’
Featured image via Win McNamee/Getty Images.