TRUMP RESPONSE 10 OUT OF 10????
By Maryann Vazquez
Trump recently rated his handling of the aftermath of hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico as a 10 out of 10. He had the nerve to say this at a press conference in front of Ricardo Rossello, the Governor of Puerto Rico. He tried to pressure the Governor to agree with the rating of 10. What was the Governor going to do when he was here requesting an aid package on behalf of the Island? What rating would you give 45? Personally, I think the rating of 2 would be very generous.
While the “official” death toll from Hurricane Maria stands at 51, many others have died as a result of the storm due to the lack of medical care. The government of Puerto Rico has prioritized getting power back to hospitals; however smaller clinics and doctors’ offices still don’t have electricity. Vital medications are going bad due to lack of refrigeration. Puerto Rico has a much older population. Many are in nursing homes, are bed-ridden and along with a lack of air conditioning it makes their daily living conditions miserable. As a result, lives are at risk.
As of today, 80% of the island is still without electricity and it is over a month since Maria made landfall. Sixty thousand homes do not have roofs. Grocery stores are open but the shelves are not stocked with food or supplies. One million people (i.e., one-third of the island) are without clean running water. The lack of sanitary conditions is a major problem on the Island. People not counted in the death toll of Maria have died due to contracting treatable diseases including cholera. People are so desperate for water that they are breaking into polluted wells and drinking contaminated water. They also do not have access to medical care.
FEMA water distribution only accounts for 9% of the Island’s need. Only 25% of the Island’s hospitals have electricity from the power grid. They are operating on diesel generators which do not offer enough power to operate critical medical equipment (e.g., dialysis). 1700 personnel have been deployed to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands while in Texas and Florida, 20, 000 federal staff and military were deployed. The Governor stated recently that there does not seem to be a since of urgency within the Management of the Army Corps of Engineers on the ground in Puerto Rico. And he was asked to rate Trump’s performance response as a 10. Really?
The positive actions that have happened in Puerto Rico are due to generous people on the mainland and around the world. Tesla installed solar panels on the roof of a hospital to get it fully operational and save lives again. Countless celebrities including Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and Lin Manuel Miranda have raised money, not to mention 5 living American past-Presidents from both parties participated in a major fund-raising event. Young children have broken open their piggy bank, schools and other organizations all over the country have had fund-raisers that have expressed support for their fellow citizens in Puerto Rico. Where was Trump? Eating 2 scoops of ice cream, big chocolate cake and playing golf.