Puerto Rico Still Needs Lots of Help, But Trump Wants to Pull FEMA Support

It’s been just three weeks since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, yet President Donald Trump is already signaling that he’s getting ready to pull federal aid from the U.S. territory.

“We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” Trump tweeted on Thursday.

By all means, let’s withdraw aid once the area is stable again – but let’s not pretend that the job is anywhere close to being done when it’s not.

According to the Department of Defense, just one day before Trump made this announcement, only 16 percent of Puerto Rico currently has electricity. It seems to say there’s still a lot of work left to do on an island predominately in the dark.

Moreover, just 64 percent of Puerto Ricans have access to clean drinking water – and even those people are under instructions to boil their water for safety reasons. That leaves well over one million residents without water. How does that not constitute a continued disaster?

It’s hard to forget how slow Trump was to even acknowledge the crisis Puerto Rico faced following the hurricane. His lack of concern for ongoing recovery efforts mirrors his lack of concern to kickoff the efforts three weeks ago.

Add that to Trump’s tone-deaf, maligned visit to the island where he “joked” that Puerto Ricans were costing American taxpayers too much money and graded his own handling of the tragedy as top-notch – is there any mistaking that Trump’s resentment for these Americans is tinged with racism?

It can’t be a coincidence that Trump pledged solidarity and swift action to assist hurricane efforts in Texas and Florida, while the brown-skinned Americans living outside of the continental United States – particularly those who don’t have electoral votes to offer Trump – have been treated as an after thought.

The difference in treatment is startling. FEMA said it had a plan to be in Texas “for years” to make sure the state is back in order. That’s standard protocol for disasters of this magnitude. For Trump to threaten to pull federal support to Puerto Rico in less than a month speaks volumes about how he views the U.S. territory.

As Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Roselló pointed out, the island isn’t asking for special treatment. He explained, “The U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are requesting the support that any of our fellow citizens would receive across our Nation.”

In response to Trump’s “forever” comment, Chief of Staff John Kelly said the president’s statement was “accurate” since it is inevitable that FEMA will leave at some point. Kelly is focusing on the technicality of the statement rather than the heartlessness of it.

No one’s asking for FEMA to literally be in Puerto Rico forever – just as long as other areas of America would receive, and until the job is done. The fact that Trump is ready to scrub his hands clean of this area long before safe living conditions are restored is despicable and damning.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

87 comments

Veronica Danie
Veronica Danieabout a month ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica Danie
Veronica Danieabout a month ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica Danie
Veronica Danieabout a month ago

Thank you so very much.

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Ann B
Ann Babout a month ago

another blunder we need help HERE too

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Aaron F
Past Member about a month ago

$36,000,000,000 in aid......

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Mike R
Mike Rabout a month ago

JERK

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Mike R
Mike Rabout a month ago

JERK

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Joan E
Joan E1 months ago

Maybe if enough of us throw enough paper towels at him...

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Elaine W
Elaine W1 months ago

Many, to his way of thinking, are just the wrong color americans. Others weren't nice enough to him.

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Kathryn I
Kathryn I1 months ago

Trump has outdone himself, in the negative sense, of course, when it was revealed that Puerto Rico needed assistance; nothing but gutter trash. Thank you for sharing.

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