Prez Trump may pull back Puerto Rico re­cov­ery ef­fort

Millennium Post - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON: Pres­i­dent Trump served no­tice Thurs­day that he may pull back fed­eral re­lief work­ers from Puerto Rico, ef­fec­tively threat­en­ing to aban­don the US ter­ri­tory amid a stag­ger­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis in the af­ter­math of Hur­ri­cane Maria.

Declar­ing the US ter­ri­tory’s elec­tri­cal grid and in­fra­struc­ture to have been a “dis­as­ter be­fore hur­ri­canes,” Trump wrote Thurs­day that it will be up to Con­gress how much fed­eral money to ap­pro­pri­ate to the is­land for its re­cov­ery ef­forts and that re­cov­ery work­ers will not stay “for­ever.”

In a trio of tweets, Trump wrote” “We can­not keep FEMA, the Mil­i­tary & the First Re­spon­ders, who have been amaz­ing (un­der the most dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances) in P.R. for­ever!” Three weeks since Maria made land­fall, much of Puerto Rico, an is­land of 3.4 mil­lion peo­ple, the vast ma­jor­ity of the is­land re­mains with­out power. Res­i­dents strug­gle to find clean water, hospi­tals are run­ning short on medicine and com­merce is slow with many busi­nesses closed.

Trump on Thurs­day sought to shame the ter­ri­tory for its own plight. He tweeted, “Elec­tric and all in­fra­struc­ture was dis­as­ter be­fore hur­ri­canes.” And he quoted Sharyl At­tkisson, a tele­vi­sion jour­nal­ist, as say­ing, “Puerto Rico sur­vived the Hur­ri­canes, now a fi­nan­cial cri­sis looms largely of their own mak­ing.” Trump has been roundly crit­i­cised for his lead­er­ship in com­ing to Puerto Rico’s aid. Trump, in re­sponse, has tried to por­tray the is­land as in full re­cov­ery mode, even as it suf­fers from en­dur­ing health, power and water problems.

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