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As Puerto Rico Begs for Help, Trump Congratulates Himself for Job Well Done

Puerto Rico Crisis
Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma and Maria

As Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Island struggle to survive in the aftermath of the devastation left behind by Hurricane Irma and Maria, President Donald Trump Tuesday congratulated himself and his administration for doing a “wonderful’ job.

Six days after Maria made landfall, both islands are suffering from shortage of food, lack of power, fuel shortage, poor communication and lack of drinking water. Yet, the president believes his administration has done a great job.

RELATED: ‘Monster Hurricane’ Maria devastates Puerto Rico, barrels towards Dominican Republic.

Trump began the week by manufacturing a controversy to try to turn attention away from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into his campaign’s collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election by attacking NFL players exercising their first amendment rights.

He then went on to insult Arizona senator John McCain, a genuine American hero, for his announcement that he would vote ‘No’ on the GOP sponsored Graham-Cassidy ObamaCare repeal and replace bill.

Finally after criticism from Hillary Clinton, Democrats and other government officials, he decided to turn his attention to Puerto Rico but he insulted the island for broken infrastructure and debt.

“Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble,” he tweeted to his 39 million followers.

“It’s [sic] old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities – and doing well. #FEMA.”

As if to rob the insult deeper or perhaps as a sort of damage control, Tuesday afternoon Trump praised his administration for “doing a really good job.”

“We’ve gotten A-pluses on Texas and in Florida, and we will also on Puerto Rico,” Trump told reporters in Washington. “The difference is this is an island sitting in the middle of an ocean. It’s a big ocean, it’s a very big ocean. And we’re doing a really good job.”

“I mean I think we’re really getting really good marks for the work we’re doing,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

Always the showman Trump told the media that he is “totally focused” on Puerto Rico and his feud with NFL players was not a distraction.

“I have plenty of time on my hands,” Trump explained Tuesday, during a joint press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. “We are totally focused on [Puerto Rico] but at the same time it doesn’t take me a long time to put out a ‘wrong’ [on Twitter].”

Just to make sure Americans understand how difficult his job of running the United States is, he reminded everyone that Puerto Rico is in the middle of the ocean.

Puerto Rico is “out in the ocean, you can’t just drive your trucks there from other states . . . This is a thing called the Atlantic Ocean. This is tough stuff,” Trump said.

But the media is reporting that Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands are facing devastating conditions in the next few months and aid do not appear to reaching the islands quickly.

“We’ve gotten A-pluses on Texas and in Florida, and we will also on Puerto Rico,” Trump told reporters in Washington. “The difference is this is an island sitting in the middle of an ocean. It’s a big ocean, it’s a very big ocean. And we’re doing a really good job.”

Hospitals in Puerto Rico that should be saving people are unable to provide care. At the Canovanas Medical Center, Dr. Norbert Seda said they were running out of fuel for the generator and had only two or three days of medicine and supplies left.

“We’ve seen a lot of trauma,” Dr. Seda said. “We need medication, antibiotics, tetanus shots, we’ve seen a lot of trauma basically, (we need) antibiotics and medication for hypertension.”

Dr. Seda said he has not seen anyone die yet but added that “it is coming” unless the island gets needed help soon. “It’s coming. When there’s a shortage of water and sanitation issues, it will come out. We are expecting something like that to happen.”

Domingo Cruz Vivaldi, executive director of San Jorge Children’s Hospital in San Juan said the hospital has run out fuel and the situation is quickly becoming a full-blown crisis.

“We are dealing with a crisis right now. The hospital is needing diesel every day — 2,000 gallons a day. Yesterday, we ran out of diesel at 6 a.m. and we were without electricity at the hospital from 6 a.m. through 2 p.m. 8 hours without electricity. Without power, life-saving machines like ventilators have to run on emergency backup power.”

“Another hospital wants to transfer two critical patients here because they don’t have electricity,” cardiovascular surgeon Gonzalez Cancel said. “We can’t take them. We have the same problem.”

San Juan’s Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said the people are desperate and need help quickly. “We are finding dialysis patients that have not been able to contact their providers. We are having to transport them in near death conditions. We are finding people whose oxygen tanks are running out because our small generators now don’t have any diesel,” the mayor said.

“Just yesterday, we have been canvassing one by one all of our elderly homes, finding our elderly ― and I’m not kidding ― we [had] to transfer 11 of them in near-death conditions, no food, no water, no electricity and really the sanitary conditions were deplorable.”

Puerto Rico governor, Ricardo Rosselló, pleaded for more federal aid. “We need something tangible, a bill that actually answers to our need right now,” he said. “Otherwise, there will be … a massive exodus to the (mainland) United States.”

Puerto Rico crisis

Most alarming are the SOS messages, the mayor said, “the ones that say ‘Can anyone hear me?’ The ones that say ‘I have no more food and I’m out in the street.'”

The main airport on the island’s capital, San Juan is crippled with no air conditioning and thousands itching to leave – but fewer than 10 flights a day is going out of the island.

San Juan resident Sebastián Pérez said he’s surviving without running water and power. His fridge is useless for keeping anything cold and he hasn’t driven his car since the storm, wanting to keep the gas for emergencies.

SEE ALSO: Congressional Republicans Abandon Effort to Repeal ObamaCare, Again.

“Food wise its getting kind of scary. I’m trying to use as less as I can because I don’t know when it will get better,” he says.

Yet, Trump congratulates himself and his administration for doing a “wonderful” job. Trump said Tuesday he plans to visit Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands next week.

Associate Editor, The Liberal Advocate News




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