Puerto Rico two weeks after Maria
The island of Puerto Rico was devastated by the worst hurricane in its history nearly two weeks ago.
Parts of the Caribbean island - home to 3.5 million people - remain isolated, and phone networks have been catastrophically ruined, making it difficult to confirm the picture on the ground.
But as Mr. Trump finally went to see the damage for himself on Tuesday, the destruction wrought by Hurricane Maria will take months to recover from. And, as Tulsa resident Dr. Edith Baez Baez, a native of Puerto Rico, told La Semana, most of the aid touted by Trump in his public appearance with the island’s governor has yet to reach the areas farther from San Juan.
“The performance was nothing but theater,” Baez said, adding that watching it, “made me sick.”
“Trump was lucky most of the people of Puerto Rico had no idea he was there because almost all communications are still down,” she added.
What does Puerto Rico's recovery look like two weeks after Maria?
Part of the reason Puerto Rico's recovery has been slowed is the island's reliance on air and sea ports to bring fuel, water and food. Runways needed to be cleared of debris and supplies were stuck in the island's ports because of a US law that limits shipping between parts of the US to US-flagged vessels.
Puerto Rico pressed the US to lift the act, and President Trump waived the act for 10 days to help with the recovery.
Among the most lingering dangers of the hurricane is the lack of clean water on the island, a figure that rose over the weekend to more than half of the island's population.
Public health experts worry that this problem will make the weeks after the storm more deadly as sanitary conditions worsen.
While agriculture is no longer a primary driver of Puerto Rico's economy, the destruction of the vast majority of crops on the island means growers in the coffee, plantains and other popular agricultural industries have lost their entire livelihoods in a single storm.
Loss of crops also means Puerto Ricans will need to import more of their food, an effort made more complicated by the nearby exporting countries in the Caribbean who have also been hit by hurricanes.
The storm knocked much of Puerto's Rico communications infrastructure, splitting a crucial link between family members that live in the continental US and on the island, as well as mobile phone networks that could be used to organize the recovery response.
Rebuilding the mobile phone network is expected to take at least weeks, if not months.
Residents of Puerto Rico are American citizens, although they have no voting representative in Congress and cannot send electors to vote in US presidential races.
Only about half of mainland Americans in a recent poll know Puerto Ricans are fellow Americans. In a survey, knowledge of their citizenship meant respondents were slightly more likely to support relief aid. (BBC/La Semana)