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etvfutures.com October 20, 2017


President Trump Attacks Puerto Rico, Threatens To Pull Emergency Responders

13 October 2017, 08:06 | Opal Carroll

Puerto Rico remains in crisis three weeks after Hurricane Maria struck as a Category Four stormMore

Puerto Rico remains in crisis three weeks after Hurricane Maria struck as a Category Four stormMore

When NPR's Tom Gjelten asked about Trump's latest tweets, a spokesman said the governor has spoken with the White House asking for "clarification".

Last month, Trump accused San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of "poor leadership" and said she and others in Puerto Rico "want everything to be done for them".

Congressional leaders of both political parties defended the need to send resources to the US territory, which was devastated by two hurricanes this summer.

The governor's office did not respond to queries about the total amount of aid requested, which is now equivalent to around half of Puerto Rico's debt of some $73 billion. He quoted journalist Sharyl Attkisson, tweeting "Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making". Puerto Rico's Treasury Secretary Raul Maldonado said last week that the government was poised to run out of money at the end of October, and may have to furlough government employees, a move that would hinder recovery efforts.

Rubio, who visited Puerto Rico on September 25 to survey hurricane damage, said he was confident the island would get the help it needs in the short term through emergency legislation.

Trump's remarks come just weeks after Puerto Rico was slammed by Hurricane Maria.

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Puerto Rico's economy ground to a halt in the storm.

As of Wednesday, 45 people died as a result of the hurricane damage, and four of those deaths were because of drinking contaminated water, authorities said. "There will be a period in which we hope sooner rather than later, the United States military and (the Federal Emergency Management Agency), generally speaking, can withdraw because then the government and people of Puerto Rico are recovering sufficiently to start the process of rebuilding".

White House chief of staff John Kelly, speaking to reporters, said the military and other emergency responders were trying very hard to "work themselves out of a job". The financial situation is more complicated than Trump's tweets suggest.

"He appears not to understand what his own administration is doing or how the federal government operates", the source said. Some also noted that as the island was reeling from Hurricane Maria, the president was instead tweeting about NFL players' behavior during the national anthem.

The House of Representatives approved a $36.5 billion disaster aid package Thursday to help victims struggling to recover from a string of devastating hurricanes and wildfires. Puerto Ricans, who are US citizens, are likely to continue to flee to the mainland United States unless conditions improve, with Florida one of their top destinations.

Ryan, the House speaker, planned to visit Puerto Rico on Friday. "It's not easy when you are continue to suffer - see the suffering of the people without food, without water, and actually living in a humanitarian crisis".



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