Every time President Trump opens his mouth to talk about the effects of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico, he gives his critics another reason to dislike him. Today, the president told the press that the problem in Puerto Rico is not a lack of water or supplies, but an inability to distribute them properly.
After Trump bragged about the work being done on the island, one reporter countered by pointing out the fact that many people still don’t have access to clean drinking water.
The president responded:
‘We have massive amounts of water. We have massive amounts of food. But they have to distribute it. They have to do it. They have to distribute the food to the people of the island. So, what we’ve done is, we now actually have military distributing food, something that really they shouldn’t have to be doing.’
Trump also said on Monday that it has been “very tough” to bring aid to the people Puerto Rico because the island “was in very poor shape before the hurricanes ever hit.”
President Trump blames lack of water, food in Puerto Rico on local distribution https://t.co/rFt1Owut93
— Amanda Wills (@AmandaWills) October 16, 2017
These most recent remarks from the president came shortly after reports surfaced saying that, out of desperation, many Puerto Ricans are currently drinking potentially contaminated water.
According to CNN, people are drinking water from a well that was designated as among the nation’s most toxic sites last year by the Environmental Protection Agency. This well is polluted with industrial chemicals, including tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene, which “can have serious health impacts including damage to the liver and increasing the risk of cancer.”
Between these reports and Trump’s history of blaming Puerto Ricans for the problems they’re currently facing, it’s not surprising that he has received a lot of backlash today for his comments about goods not being distributed properly.
Trump came under fire at the end of last month after he said that Puerto Ricans “want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”
He was also criticized last week for suggesting that he wanted to take aid away from the U.S. territory. He tweeted on Thursday:
‘We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!’
Featured image is a screenshot from the video.