Donald Trump, a heartless psychopath with no feeling for others, a man who craps in gold toilets but cares nothing that storm-devastated residents of Puerto Rico go without basic water services, thinks today is a good day to announce that “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & First Responders who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!”
Twenty-two days after Hurricane Maria made landfall, only about 10 percent of Puerto Rico has electricity. Food and potable water supplies are so short it forces people to stand in long lines or scavenge to stay alive. The death toll officially stands at 45, but aid workers say hundreds have died as a direct result of the storm. These were in large part preventable deaths: no diesel to run a generator, no dialysis, no vital medical supplies. VOX has an explainer on the scope of the problems.
Twenty-two days is not a long time to rehabilitate an area hit by a devastating storm. In 2015, 10 years after Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans area, USA Today reported storm relief projects were still being identified and funded, and that process was expected to continue for years to come. At that time, FEMA had dispersed only 80 percent of aid through its Public Assistance Program. That’s 80 percent in 10 years, and the agency had no timetable for completing its efforts.
No wonder that private individuals (even a housewife from a reality show), church and civic groups and others have stepped up to help, some with scathing criticism of the Trump Administration. Non-governmental agencies like Oxfam, an international relief agency, is also doing what the mighty United States government will not.
“We’re hearing excuses and criticism from the administration instead of a cohesive and compassionate response,” said Oxfam American President Abby Maxman. “The U.S. has more than enough resources to mobilize an emergency response but has failed to do so in a swift and robust manner.
“Oxfam rarely responds to humanitarian emergencies in the United States and other wealthy countries, but as the situation in Puerto Rico worsens and the federal government’s response continues to falter, Oxfam has decided to step in to lend our expertise in dealing with some of the world’s most catastrophic disasters,” she said, noting the organization would help provide “better, faster and more inclusive response” to the crisis.
Trump has done as little as possible to help Puerto Rico, while claiming all the credit. Photos of Trump tossing paper towels to people without food and water drew highly critical remarks from around the world. “This is more evidence that the United States views them as second-class citizens,” reported the BBC.
And if you think you can thank Congress for stepping in to help Puerto Rico, think again. House Republicans announced a disaster aid package this week to give the mostly poor island territory $16 billion in debt relief. Debt relief. That’s not technical help for infrastructure, schools and hospitals. That’s not food aid for an area that suffered losses of its entire agricultural economy.
The relief aid will bail out private insurers. In turn, Puerto Rico can get more loans to help itself.
Trump is a heartless bastard, ignorant of the needs of 3.4 million Americans.