One of the largest roadblocks to recovery in Puerto Rico is the deep divide between the island’s politicians, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator William Long.
The division among Puerto Rico’s leaders has led to some officials refusing to work with Gov. Richard Rosselló, primarily because of his political stances.
“What I’ve experienced firsthand is, a successful response relies on unity, okay,” Long said Monday, according to The Washington Post. “To give you an example, when you can’t get elected officials at the local level to come to a joint field office because they disagree with the politics of the governor that’s there, it makes things difficult and the information fragmented.”
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz has been one of the most vocal Puerto Rican critics of the recovery effort and President Donald Trump. Long has stopped taking comments from Cruz seriously, however, accusing her of pursuing an agenda rather than trying to give constructive feedback.
“We filtered out the mayor a long time ago,” Long told ABC News Sunday. “We don’t have time for the political noise.”
Puerto Rico residents have seen very little of the aid that has been sent to the island, especially in rural areas. Large parts of the island’s communications system is still down, thereby hindering the recovery, WaPo reports.
“Over nearly 85 percent of my entire agency is deployed right now. We’re still working massive issues in [response to hurricanes] Harvey, Irma, as well as the issues in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and now [Hurricane Nate],” Long said. “In regards to resources, of course we’re strained.”
FEMA has had to “filter out” Cruz because she is nothing but a political hack getting in the way of aid distribution. FEMA is having to carry out the entire aid, distribution and recovery efforts because the local politics is more important to the liberals there than helping the people.
Over and over and over. Same song, different verse.
No, he didn’t actually say that. Did you miss this part?
Not political divisions, apparently.
He said that with a perfectly straight face—as if the man he works for weren’t the nation’s Political Noisemaker and Divider in Chief.
Three weeks after the hurricane hit much of the island remains without power, communications, and drinking water. That can’t be fixed overnight, but support for the island’s hospitals could have been more highly prioritized from the start. Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz’s desperate pleas for help were met by Trump’s glowing portrayal of how well he was handling the situation, personal Twitter attacks against herself, and a humiliating news video of the President of the United States throwing out rolls of paper towels—“beautiful, soft towels”—to a small crowd of Puerto Ricans who gathered to greet him. This apparent lack of empathy and understanding pissed her off, and her failure to properly shut up after she became one of his Twitter targets has made her a thorn his side.
They need a recall election in San Juan and vote this fool out
@Greg: You will deny the facts to the very bitter end, won’t you?
You don’t know the facts.
It’s not about recovery in Puerto Rico yet, it’s about ‘survival,’ says investor who was born there
You know what I think is going to happen? Puerto Rico will be allowed to sink, driving millions of native Puerto Ricans off the island to the mainland, and then wealthy investors will swoop in like vultures, buy up the place dirt cheap, and turn it into a cash cow, most likely with government financial support that until then will be lacking. Cuba will be marginalized as a competing tourist destination by refreezing the recent diplomatic thaw. We’ve already seen the beginnings of that.
Why do I think this? Because that’s precisely the way the sons of bitches you’ve put in the driver’s seat operate. It’s the way they’ve always operated, “in business and in life,” and the way they always will. There may well be political consequences, as millions of Puerto Ricans arriving stateside will suddenly be able to vote in national elections, but the sons of bitches won’t really care. They’ll be counting their winnings, demonizing their next batch of political opponents, and looking for the next exploitable situation.
It may be that the playful tossing of paper towels was more aid than the mayor has handed out. If the previous President had done the same exact thing the interpretation wouldnt be harsh at all. The same response would be OMG how heroic all that stuff to the suffering people in such a short time.
Everyone of these statistics would be touted as OBAMA miracles and ONLY because of his god-like leadership abilities.
I personally credit FEMA and the relief workers despite swimming upstream against political rapids while the Madam Mayor steps on their heads to get her face into the next camera lens.
In Puerto Rico’s “Town of the Forgotten,” Residents Are Desperate for FEMA to Show Up
Puerto Rico’s Calamity Demands Marshall Plan-Type Recovery
@Greg: You continually fall back on the fact that the situation in Puerto Rico is dire and the devastation near total. We know that. The problem is that this mayor, clawing for her moment of liberal fame, is spending all her time and effort criticizing Trump instead of doing her job. What the FEMA representative is say is that she is too busy playing her political theater to participate in the relief effort and this is hampering the effort over all.
This is, of course, what the outside perception (other than by CNN disciples) of her petty games are. She is hindering the effort, will not take part in the coordination briefings and meetings, so FEMA is having to just by-pass her dumb ass and do ALL the tasks themselves, something they are not prepared for.
Is that your idea of “compassion”?
@Greg: Looks like we may discover WTF is going down http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/09/u-s-prosecutor-to-investigate-puerto-rican-officials-accused-of-preventing-aid-from-reaching-people/
I hope she has a few NASTY t-shirts left over.
They’ll have some shirts to distribute that say, “I was starving and had no electricity, but all I got was this lousy shirt” because liberal politics kept all the supplies undistributed.
The Trump administration, in response to much criticism that transcended partisan lines, announced on September 28th that it was waiving the Jones Act with respect to the Puerto Rico emergency. Ten days later the waiver has expired, and the Trump administration has declined to extend it.
White House lets Jones Act waiver expire for Puerto Rico
Apparently ten days was considered long enough for negative comments in the media to die down.
@Greg: After the docks are capable of getting the supplies moved, perhaps the Governor will request a waiver extension, seems Congress cant do anything, PR should be fully exempted like the Virgin Islands, but required to put a 1% or .05% sales tax to be set aside for their own disaster fund.
Have the Dems put any legislation forward? The fund needs to be controlled stateside until they provide a comprehensive disaster plan.
yeah, he will. Trump authorized the same aid programs for Puerto Rico that he did for Florida and Texas. The difference? Texas and Fla ran by Republicans that wanted to help their people. Puerto Rico run by Dimocraps that just want to score political points against Trump. Which one was successful?
Oh, now we understand. The Republicans generated this hurricane deliberately to destroy Puerto Rico so they could take it over and make it a Republican owned tourist Mecca. Who wrote the playbook?
FEMA had to take delivery of recovery items out of the hands of the filthy union truck drivers and their crony mayors.
FEMA was going to have union truck drivers but add 2 police officers to each cab to protect the goods from pilfering.
The union drivers refused to drive with the uniformed minders.
So, FEMA is doing the deliveries.
10,000 US workers on the ground there will now not be enough.
Actually, NO. That statement is incorrect. The levels of the responses have not been the same.
3 storms, 3 responses: Comparing Harvey, Irma and Maria
The numbers don’t lie. Puerto Rico has received less attention and it has come far more slowly, despite the fact that the damages in Puerto Rico are far more extensive than in either Texas or Florida.
What every American needs to know about Puerto Rico’s hurricane disaster
Despite the fact that Puerto Ricans are our fellow citizens, the right clearly resents the hell out of every dollar spent to come to the island’s aid, and blames the victims themselves for the results of a natural disaster. They’re also using the occasion to tar all of their usual political targets, from Obama and Clinton to unions. You see no such b.s. in connection with Texas or Florida.
So, you think the same number of personnel sent to Texas should have been sent to Puerto Rico? Ever consider SCALE?
What wasn’t considered in Puerto Rico is, apparently, that the residents would most lay back and wait to be served and that political leaders there would seek to enhance their own political positions and feather their nests while their people suffered. Apparently, two or three aid workers for every resident of Puerto Rico needs to be sent.
It’s all in the article, Greg. Leftist political leaders are doing all they can to see that the aid effort fails. No different than what Democrats are doing here on the continent.
With PR sucking up all the media attention does anyone know how the US Virgin Islands are recovering?
Could the difference in personnel sent have something to do with it being the 3rd storm to hit might be there are a limited number of trained people.
From complete destruction to http://www.status.pr/ is impressive considering the logistics. It will take time, all people need to learn the Government isnt a nanny, self reliance is key to rapid recovery. Flopping will get you dead.
@Deplorable Me, #17:
Texas wasn’t damaged from border to border, north to south, east to west. Per capita hurricane costs for the people of Puerto Rico are estimated to be more than three times greater than for the people of Texas. Nor did Texas have so much of its infrastructure destroyed that the communication systems, computer networks, and electrical grid were totally knocked out. Nor is Texas an island, totally dependent on air and sea transport to move goods.
I’m guessing you’ve never been to the island and have had no contact with the Puerto Rican people. We’ll have to add the fineness of their character to the long list of things about which you seem determined to remain profoundly ignorant. I keep forgetting that the right runs on anger, not on accurate information.
A large portion of the national economy was hit. Energy production was hit. If you want the resources to continue rendering aid to other areas, you had best keep the economy up and running. Also, 10,000 aid workers, which swelled to 15,000, all having to be transported by ship or helicopter, IS a substantial amount. Standing in front of CNN cameras and inventing things to bitch about is not helping the effort and that is what Cruz (and apparently others, who didn’t get their lime light) were doing. Truck drivers, staying home because their neighborhood and homes were devastated, should rapidly reach the conclusion that aid is not going to arrive unless THEY transport it. It appears to be a situation like New Orleans and Katrina; people so used to government pampering that they just shut down when left to their own devices.
When you accuse the RIGHT of running on anger, you once again forget or neglect the actual genesis of this entire conversation; left wing hate that never takes a day off, even in the event of human catastrophe and suffering.
All one has to do to see the falseness of that statement is to compare the tone of the rhetoric at a typical Trump rally with the tone of the rhetoric at a typical Obama rally. Trump’s rhetoric is that of a populace rabble-rouser, who seeks to capture and control his base by appealing to negativity and emotion. Truth and lies are all the same to Trump; what matters is how useful a particular idea is.
@Greg: Obama’s rallies were “hope and change” blather, “free health care”, “if you like your doctor…”, “I’ll lower the sea levels” and so forth. Trump spoke issues and facts to people fed up totally with Washington lies and Obama’s failure.
Yet, back to the subject at hand; mayor Cruz couldn’t pass up the opportunity to become a CNN star and lie about the effort made by the government while, apparently, blocking efforts as much as she can to get the aid to the populace.
The left is bitter, spiteful, hateful and dishonest. Cruz represents that and she promotes it. Quite possibly, she is stealing as well.
Trump on Twitter, this morning (Thursday, October 12):
3.4 million American citizens. In some outlying towns on the hurricane devastated island, they’re struggling to meet the most basic needs of life. There’s little food and water. Nor is there necessarily an open road to the outside world. Nor electricity or telephone communication. These were not the conditions, prior to back-to-back hurricanes. Puerto Rico was not “a disaster” beforehand.
What would the reaction have been if he had spoken the same way to the affected people of Texas or Florida?
Progress Destroyed: Rural Puerto Rico Faces Continual Trauma Of Flooding Rain
@Greg: You can’t stand it when someone cites facts instead of blaming others or just saying, “hope and change, hope and change, hope and change.”
@Greg: You know how to clear a log jam? A couple of sticks of dynamite, yes its monsoon season as you well know. The relief workers need to go home sometime dont they, or are they an entitlement?
How long do you think they should stay?
Was’nt that the Governor saying the electrical grid was a disaster before, it ran on fuel oil.
There will be areas that you take 1 step forward 2 steps back
Even before this most recent storm, Puerto Rico’s energy infrastructure was precarious. “It was already unsustainable; it was a terrible mess,” says Judith Enck, the former EPA administrator for Region 2, which includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “Even if you had a modest wind storm, people would typically lose power for days at a time.”
No we dont want to turn our backs on the island. What ever they rebuild it must be hardened.
@kitt: No, kitt. No. When liberals leave themselves vulnerable for a huge catastrophe and a catastrophe happens, everyone has to drop what they are doing and spend however long it takes to end the liberal’s misery as soon as is possible. Because liberals don’t like inconvenience.
It’s not enough that Trump donates a million of his own dollars and is going to fight to erase Puerto Rico’s debt to help them recover. He needs to wave a magic wand and fix everything instantly or he is a racist that doesn’t care.
Until leaving won’t be the moral equivalent of abandoning our fellow citizens far out at sea in sinking lifeboat.
Apparently we’re not only willing to do that, but to then run up their reconstruction costs by keeping the Jones Act in place. This does not reflect well on us.
@Greg: More “push Grandma off a cliff” false hysteria?
@Deplorable Me, #28:
You didn’t look at the linked NPR article? Grandma is dying in a back room in a house without electricity, while her daughter collects rainwater in buckets because that’s all she can get. Neighbors have hooked up a car battery to try to keep her breathing machine running.
The only way any compassionate person could be OK with simply abandoning such people is by pretending that such things aren’t actually happening.
@Greg: Did you ever tell me what legislation the Dems put forward to exempt PR from the Jones act?
The military has loads of surplus vehicles and heavy equipment,National Guard of PR have they reported for duty yet.
Greenie Ghouls want to make PR solar, it would be a real shame for good farming and ranching acreage to be covered with those ugly things. Some and some wind but turning the island fully renewable all at once, it will break down and wear out all at once. PR not known to set anything aside for a rainy day.
I dont want to see the people further victimized, I wish they were handing out water purification systems instead of all that plastic.
NPR didnt bother to show any relief efforts, not too slanted are they?
@Greg: You just don’t get it. What can be done is BEING done. Just because liberals don’t like to be inconvenienced doesn’t mean the world should stop rotating and everything made right instantly. If there was less crying, bitching and lying the relief effort would proceed along much more smoothly and quickly.
NPR? Pffft. Mind if I use your methods?
Maybe there could be a new Trump book in this: How Not to Win Friends and Influence People.
Trump threat to abandon Puerto Rico recovery sparks a backlash
He needs a Twitter assistant to run his comments through before they’re posted. At the very least. Apparently a few people in Puerto Rico still have occasional access to news and the internet. They heard what he said.
Your response is rather comical. I suspect, intentionally. Let me see if there are any differences. Let’s see, they’re all three islands far from the US. No wait, Actually Fl and Tx are attached to the mainland where materials and persons can be prestationed. And where did the storm go when it left Puerto Rico? exactly into the area where help would have to come from. The area between the entire East coast of the US and Puerto Rico. Let’s see, were all three areas in a state of crisis with their infra structure prior to the storm hitting? Hmmm, seems as if most of Puerto Rico was in dire straits for at least 2 years prior to the hurricane hitting with many parts of electrical grid already dysfunctional. Where were the electrical companys stash of spare poles? Where were their spare transformers? Correct answer. Non existent. Fla and TX had their spare poles and transformers staged right where they were immediately accessible. Is there a reason you don’t want to be honest in your attempted argument? Do you deny that Dimocraps are in charge in Puerto Rico? They were already attempting to get about 300 billion from the US just to get them back to a normal standard. All free to them, at US Taxpayers expense.
Actually, from what I was hearing ‘prior’ to the first hurricane, you may be right. Disaster may not adequately describe the conditions there prior to the first hit. Much of grid not being maintained, no spare parts. No one to work on system. Yes it was probably much worse than just ‘disaster’ level. But Dimocraps were in charge, what could you expect.
Let’s test this. How is the battery keeping it’s charge? Is there a battery charger hooked up to electricity charging it? Is it hooked to an automobile engine, which has no gasoline to power it? How much good does hooking up a dead battery with no way to charge it to a ‘breathing machine’. If there is a power source, why not hook that up to the breathing machine and not to a battery charger. I’m sure you can shed some light on this. Right?
But they’ve already figured out it would take longer to get a functioning solar and wind powered system operational and they still have not figured out how to power the solar system at night or the wind farm when the wind isn’t blowing. Maybe the dimocraps know how to keep the sun shining 24 hours a day.
Yes, we all know the dimocraps want Trump censored, the truth hurts. Don’t think they’re gonna get that. Hard to keep him from telling the truth when he’s going straight to the people.
This guy won’t complete a first term. There’s a reason why we have a 25th Amendment. He’s it. Hopefully he’ll be stopped somewhere short of World War 3.
@Redteam: The goal should be a hardened system, I know many wouldnt agree to rebuild a system better than they had. If your car is worth 50 bucks and unreliable then gets totaled you dont get a new car.
@Greg: Really are they that butthurt that they couldnt get Hillary her turn? The 25th pffft
How many countries did Obama destabilize….Egypt, Libya,, Iraq, Iran, Syria, the peace prize winner was never at peace, 8 years not 1 day
Trump hasnt destabilized a single country.
Gee Pelosi cant remember what president is sitting, does she even remember Obama? http://www.dailywire.com/news/22170/pharmacy-says-they-deliver-alzheimers-medications-ryan-saavedra
Trump isn’t trying to win friends; he’s trying to run a country in which HALF of the people are butt-hurt, spoiled little crybabies.
How long should Trump keep FEMA in Puerto Rico? Let’s say you and I are neighbors. A storm hits our neighborhood. A large tree is downed in my front yard, part of it landing on my roof. You come over and, like a good neighbor, offer to lend me help getting the tree rendered down and out of my yard.
So, you get your chainsaw and you start cutting. Meanwhile, I go inside. I’m worried about my television, so I go sit in front of it to make sure it is operating OK. After about three hours of that damned chainsaw running, making it hard for me to hear MSNBC and what I should be thinking, I start getting pissed. So, I get on Facebook and complain. Greg is taking too long. Why doesn’t Greg hurry up and get that tree off my roof? Greg should hurry up and get that tree out of my yard. F**king Greg.
How long, Greg, would you hang around and help someone that will not help themselves and do nothing but make unfounded and unreasonable demands and complaints?
Perhaps the Governor should declare martial law so Trump can bring in the military and force the residents to work.
Well, it looks like that’s already in the works… oh, wait. Sorry, there’s a delay. I think Al Green is going to be a little too busy to do much impeaching.
@Deplorable Me: You dont mean that rotted vermin riddled tree that you once thought you should have taken down 10 years ago? That bastid Greg he actually took a break to change the chain and put more bar oil and gas in his chain saw, he was being attacked by angry carpenter ants, maybe he should have brought a better chain saw, like the one you have.
When did the begin to pay federal income tax? You know that nasty fee on every paycheck that helps pay for recovery in these kind of disasters.
The United States sends $17 billion in welfare funds to Puerto Rico every year.
Thats 51428.57 per person at 3.5 million population
Are you not paying attention? Trump is seriously destabilizing your own country.
He’s sabotaging the Affordable Care Act, when the insurance industry has warned him of dire consequences, and when Congress has already demonstrated an unwillingness to repeal it because of their inability to come up with an acceptable replacement. If it were truly collapsing on it’s own, it wouldn’t be necessary to repeatedly identify and attack the mechanisms designed to allow it to properly function.
He’s sabotaging the Iran nuclear agreement, when he hasn’t got a clue how to prevent or delay Iran’s nuclear program without it. His own State Department has told him this, and his own military advisers have warned him that there’s no rational military option.
The same lack of rational military options is the case with North Korea—which already has nuclear warheads, not to mention the capability to quickly reduce the capital city of South Korea to ruins without them. Yet Trump keeps taunting and provoking North Korea’s leader, who is known to be irrationally reactionary himself.
Trump lambasted Obama for ruling by executive order. In fact, Obama issued the fewest executive orders of any President in well over a century—the fewest since the days of Grover Cleveland. Trump, in comparison, is now on track to set a 50-year record for issuing executive orders, using them to obsessively dismantle the accomplishments of his predecessor, whose continuing popularity apparently weighs heavily on his fragile presidential ego.
The man is a loose cannon, crashing from side to side as his frustration grows, striking out at anyone or anything he blames for his own ineffectiveness, or who points that ineffectiveness out. His supporters seem to take such tantrums as purposeful action. I suppose they are, if you consider taking a a wrecking ball to anything that annoys you purposeful. Others correctly recognize such behavior from the person occupying the most powerful office in the world as signs of growing danger.
@Greg: Pull your head out of your backside, The Faux heathcare was falling apart before Trump took office. I know cant be Madcow says you love it.
NK everytime they ran short of cash rattled the plastic sword were only dangerous after Clinton made his deal with the same lame story Obama made his deal.
Stock market up unemployment down.
Pushed a little button in you, you just went into inaneland.
13 of the constitutional professors orders were overturned by the Supreme court
He did weird stuff like the boys in girls locker room he is sick, truly mentally ill.
Soldiers bring supplies to desperate Puerto Ricans
Does the downed electrical pole seen in the video at the 1:14 time mark look like an outdated, Mickey Mouse installation that was ready to fall over from neglect?
It WAS NOT falling apart. If it was truly falling apart on it’s own, why have republicans felt the need to continuously monkey-wrench the machinery designed to keep it working? Why does Trump feel a need to keep doing so?
If they had devoted one-tenth of the time and attention to adjusting and fine tuning the existing program, they might actually be on the road to achieving something other than total chaos in the health insurance and health care sector—which is precisely where they’re head, sabotaging what we’ve got when they have nothing in the way of a remotely acceptable replacement.
@Greg: It was a piece of crap. Obama had to illegally delay implementing many of its parts so they would not negatively affect elections, money has had to be illegally infused into it to keep it afloat and, of course, the Obama administration has had to lie constantly about this abysmal law in order to protect it.