President Donald Trump acts like he doesn’t understand that Puerto Rico is part of the United States and home to U.S. citizens. He has ignored the island community since she was devastated by Hurricane Maria earlier this month. Governor Ricardo Rossello has been begging for federal assistance.
Hillary Clinton, distressed that these citizens were being ignored, sent out this tweet, pleading for help:
President Trump, Sec. Mattis, and DOD should send the Navy, including the USNS Comfort, to Puerto Rico now. These are American citizens. https://t.co/J2FVg4II0n
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 24, 2017
In a statement on Monday, Governor Rosello said, “…this is a humanitarian disaster involving 3.4 million U.S. citizens.” And it does not show any signs of improvement. The response from Trump has been less than adequate.
— Ricardo Rossello (@ricardorossello) September 25, 2017
Trump sent out two tweets mid-week, uttering empty platitudes telling citizens to “Be careful” and “Stay safe.” He addressed none of the problems incurred as a result of the storm that literally destroyed the island.
Puerto Rico being hit hard by new monster Hurricane. Be careful, our hearts are with you- will be there to help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2017
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2017
While Trump was sending out multiple tweets ranting about NFL players taking a knee and NBA basketball players “hesitating” about visiting the White House, barely anything was said about Puerto Rico.
And not much is happening. FEMA tweeted Monday morning that they had 10,000 people there, split between the Caribbean islands that were hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria:
— FEMA (@fema) September 25, 2017
Not much. And not soon enough for people who have been left with nothing. Their entire agricultural crop was destroyed. Their remaining structures are at capacity and the storm weakened them to a point where collapse is imminent. Hospitals are stretched beyond the breaking point. They need help NOW.
Enter celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, who has family on the island she hasn’t heard from since the storm. She is donating $1 million from the proceeds of her Las Vegas show. Lopez also stated that the New York Yankees and the MLB “have both committed to join us in giving a significant contribution to this cause.”
Another group that is stepping forward are five men everyone in this country knows – the five living former presidents – George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Through their newly formed foundation One America Appeal, they will be raising funds to supply aid, food, supplies, and other assistance as needed to the states and islands that were affected by the devastating hurricanes.
All five living former presidents are banding together to fundraise for Puerto Rico. https://t.co/EW2y08MpTj
— Axios (@axios) September 25, 2017
Trump finally sent out three tweets late on Monday evening, but rather than offer help, he blamed the victims and falsely claims they are “doing well”:
Trump blaming the victims in Puerto Rico, because of course he is pic.twitter.com/xFhlswrXgD
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) September 26, 2017
The U.S. has been hit hard by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Recovery will be a long process. As it appears that Trump is slow to figure out that it is his responsibility to provide the assistance required to rebuild these communities, it is good to see some people stepping up to the plate and doing more than tweeting empty platitudes and messages to “stay safe.”
Thank you to our former presidents and all the celebrities lending their “star power” to the relief efforts for these people.
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