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USA lawmakers ask Trump to 'get to work' on Puerto Rico

USA lawmakers ask Trump to 'get to work' on Puerto Rico”

Via The White House Press Pool as provided to PoliticusUSA, Trump said, "On behalf of all of the people of Texas, and... if you look today and you see what's happening, how terrible it is but we have it under really great control, Puerto Rico". Meanwhile a former United States foreign disaster assistance chief Jeremy Konyndyk says that after reading the Washington Post's report on the relief efforts, he's "so mad he could spit", and calls the administration's delayed response "malpractice".

A week after Maria slammed into the bankrupt US commonwealth, Puerto Ricans continued to endure sweaty, dark nights with a resolution to the near-total power outage nowhere in sight.

They live on Puerto Rico's west coast in Aguadilla, which Hurricane Maria pummeled last week. Tom Bossert, the White House homeland security adviser, said Friday: "I don't accept that we're doing anything short of everything we can do".

"Ultimately the government of Puerto Rico will have to work with us to determine how this massive rebuilding effort. will be funded and organized, and what we will do with the tremendous amount of existing debt already on the island", Trump said during a speech Friday. "Most businesses don't have electricity, only some have water". The emergency room was reportedly packed at the main public hospital, Centro Medico de Rio Piedras.

"The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump".

"We're thinking about that, but we have a lot of shippers and a lot of people who work in the shipping industry who don't want the Jones Act lifted", Trump said.

"We don't need him".

"Look, the only thing giving us light is the moon", said Eva Elias, Jaeliz's grandmother. "We must do more", said Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), whose district covers the Florida Keys, which were devastated by Hurricane Irma.

Several Puerto Ricans contacted by CNN stood up for San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who apparently provoked the Trump tweet with a call for more aid, and many said the Puerto Rican community at home and overseas is already working together.

In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Republican then-House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert said in a newspaper interview that it made no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild a city seven feet under sea level. Duke said she is aware people are suffering and "clearly the situation in Puerto Rico after the devastating hurricane is not satisfactory". "Their heart is in the right place, but we have to cut the red tape".

"I'm going to have to come back another day", she said. Duke is traveling there Friday.

Mr Trump is expected to survey the damage on the island on Tuesday.

Flanked by golfers and greeted by cheers, Trump acknowledged the "horrible" situation in Puerto Rico but pledged, "we have it under really great control".

Critics have seized upon the president's attention to a domestic controversy of Trump's own making: In the days since Hurricane Maria made landfall, Trump has tweeted six times about the storm and recovery efforts, and twenty-two times about professional athletes declining to stand during the national anthem and turning down invitations to visit the White House.

The president also hashtagged his tweets with #PRStrong and a Puerto Rican.

"I have not seen any federal help around here", said Javier San Miguel, a 51-year-old accountant. Federal Emergency Management Agency official Alejandro de la Campa said only 5% of electricity had been restored in the island. Despite a handful of tweets about the plight of Puerto Ricans, Trump did not mention Americans in the neighboring U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) until Tuesday, almost a week after the storm made landfall.



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