Trump Tweets Puerto Rico 'Is in Deep Trouble' as Island Pleads for More Urgent Response
President Trump said Puerto Rico is in "deep trouble" following Hurricane Maria in a statement released on Twitter Monday, his first public remarks on the crisis since the storm hit the island last week.
The president has received widespread criticism over both his silence on the crisis as he focuses on NFL protests as well as his administration's seemingly muted response to the disaster compared to the action taken in Texas and Florida.
The White House said it was planning an "unprecedented movement" to help the island. Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long and Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert landed in Puerto Rico Monday evening to survey the storm's aftermath, while members of Congress said that they need official damage assessments as well as a formal disaster request from the administration before they can act.
As reported by the New York Times:
"Stressing that Puerto Rico, a United States territory, deserved the same treatment as hurricane-ravaged states, the governor urged Republican leaders and the federal government to move swiftly to send more money, supplies and relief workers ...
'Puerto Rico, which is part of the United States, can turn into a humanitarian crisis,' Governor [Ricardo A.] Rosselló said. 'To avoid that, recognize that we Puerto Ricans are American citizens; when we speak of a catastrophe, everyone must be treated equally.'"
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