‘We will not let you down’
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivered these remarks Thursday about the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico:
The president is actively engaged in monitoring the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.
This morning, he received an update from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Administrator Brock Long. Administrator Long has also briefed members of the Senate this morning and members of the House this afternoon.
The full weight of the United States government is engaged to ensure that food, water, health care and other lifesaving resources are making it to the people in need.
At the request of the governor, who is doing a terrific job, the president waived the Jones Act (which bars non-U.S. flagged vessels from bringing supplies to Puerto Rico). This will ensure that ample resources are making it to the island. But we will continue to focus on the challenge of distributing those resources.
The island setting presents logistical hurdles that do not exist on the mainland, where trucks from around the country can converge on disaster areas. Ten thousand federal government relief workers, in- cluding 7,200 troops, are now on the island and working tirelessly to get people what they need. We have prioritized lifesaving resources to hospitals and can report that 44 of the island’s 69 hospitals are now fully operational.
The Army Corps of Engineers is spearheading a massive mobilization to restore power, and this began with providing the diesel fuel necessary for sustainable emergency power generation. They are also working to restore longterm power generation and distribution around the island.
There’s a long way to go, but we will not rest until everyone is safe and secure.
Our message to the incredible people of Puerto Rico is this: The president is behind you; we all are, the entire country. Your unbreakable spirit is an inspiration to us all. We are praying for you. We are working for you. And we will not let you down.
FEMA Administrator Brock Long