Following a series of criticism from local politicians, President Donald Trump is heading out on a trip to Puerto Rican capital San Juan. He is accused of an allegedly weak response to Hurricane Maria that destroyed the U.S. territory.
“There’s nothing left. It’s been wiped out,” Trump said last week about Puerto Rico following the hurricane that left most people without power and fresh drinking water. “Nobody has ever seen anything like it.”
The President is expected to spend at least five hours in Puerto Rico. During this time, he will meet first responders, local politicians, and some residents. In addition, he is expected to meet with Gov. Ricardo Rossell, visit a local church, and attend briefings. Accompanied with First Lady Melania Trump. They are also planning a meeting Marine Corps and Navy personnel.
It will Trump’s fourth trip to a region devastated by natural disasters, including Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
While the majority of Puerto Rican politicians have worked closely with the Trump administration in coordinating the recovery efforts, there are some local politicians who have attacked Trump for, in their view, a mediocre response to the disaster.
“We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz slammed the Trump administration during a press conference last Friday, adding that a “genocide” is looming if the crisis not handled.
Trump has since responded to the criticism, tweeting: “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.”
According to FEMA, there are more than 10,000 federal personnel on the island providing vital recovery support and nearly 50 percent of people now have access to drinking water.