Trump races to catch up as Puerto Rico crisis escalates

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 1, 2017

The tragic images coming from Puerto Rico, America's largest USA territory, illustrate the sheer magnitude of the devastation from Hurricane Maria that continues to inflict human suffering and physical damage nearly beyond imagination.

"This is the single biggest, major catastrophe in the history of Puerto Rico, bar none, and it is probably the biggest hurricane catastrophe in the United States", Rossello said Wednesday as he delivered aid to the southern town of Salinas, whose mayor says 100 percent of the agriculture there was wiped out when the wind tore up plantain, corn, vegetables and other crops.

Prior to the current narrative, media reports consisted of local officials and Puerto Rican representatives praising the federal government's response to Maria and the cooperative preparations taken before the storm. Many people are unable to work or run their businesses because diesel to run generators is in short supply or they can't spend all day waiting for gas to fill their vehicle.

"The people of Puerto Rico have always been denied the same benefits provided to other American citizens", the letter read. UNICEF and the Salvation Army are just two organizations accepting monetary donations to help in Puerto Rico relief efforts. She said on CNN: "This is a people-are-dying story".

Reacting to Duke's remarks, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said Friday the situation on the ground was in fact "not a good news story".

Thursday, Duke stirred controversy when referring to the government's response in Puerto Rico as a "good news story". The effort brings together a wide range of civic, business and industry partners to provide needed services, goods and funds to help the people of Puerto Rico recover and rebuild, and provides opportunities for New Yorkers to contribute to the relief efforts.

Republican Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Trump's short-term waiver was not enough. "I'm sorry, but that really upsets me and frustrates me".

Of all the problems unleashed by the storm, which roared over the island September 20 as a Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 155 miles per hour, the plight of overtaxed hospitals and smaller clinics - and health care in general - is one of the most worrying for officials grappling with recovery efforts. The President has said that available federal resources are already deployed to hasten the island's recovery. "Most businesses don't have electricity, only some have water". "Don't let your people die like this". She also said the death toll had been low for a storm the size of Hurricane Maria.

"I am very satisfied", said Elaine Duke, acting secretary at the Homeland Security Department, . After the storm, many Puerto Ricans raised the citizenship issue when expressing surprise that relief efforts seemed sluggish following such a ferocious storm. I'm holding it very well because I'm a strong person.

After going days without mentioning the hurricane-devastated island after the storm, administration officials have held numerous press conferences describing their relief efforts and Trump has mentioned Puerto Rico at almost every public event.

"Right now we have hospitals (elsewhere) that need diesel, they need water, they need oxygen", Matta said.

"We are dying here, and I can not fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world can not figure out logistics for a small island", she said, adding: "(If) we don't get the food and water into people's hands, we are going to see something close to a genocide.

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