Puerto Rico unveils new emergency preparations after Maria

Charlene Craig
September 17, 2018

As time went by it did not go up by much.

In a series of morning tweets as Florence bore down on the Southeast U.S. coast, Trump bristled over criticism of the response to Hurricane Maria, in which 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who has been a vocal critic of the administration's handling of the storm, has cast blame on the federal government for failing to provide adequate assistance in the aftermath of the storm, and slammed Trump's assertion Tuesday.

Trump falsely accused Democrats on Thursday of inflating the Puerto Rican toll to make him "look as bad as possible".

"Puerto Rico only finished restoring full power last month, 11 months after the hurricane hit", the BBC says. The General Services Administration Administrator for Puerto Rico, Ottmar Chávez, told CBS News that his agency had claimed excess water bottles for delivery from FEMA back in May, but only became aware of the bottles on Tuesday, and he now wants to return them to the agency following complaints about the water's taste and smell.

President Donald Trump talks about Hurricane Florence following a briefing in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington Tuesday Sept. 11 2018

For DeSantis, breaking from Trump marked a major, first shift away from the conservative base voters that carried him to a victory in the primary.

But Trump suggested Friday that it was questionable that the Puerto Rican government commissioned the study from an outside group.

Trump's remarks came during a briefing in the Oval Office for reporters that included the head of Department of Homeland Security and FEMA. North and SC and Virginia ordered mass evacuations along the coast.

Public health experts have estimated that almost 3,000 people died because of the effects of Maria.

Gidley cited studies that attributed fewer than 3,000 deaths on the island to Maria.

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Take action: Join the Care2 activists calling for an independent investigation into what went wrong in Puerto Rico.

"Hurricane Florence is looking even bigger than anticipated".

Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC, who talks to Trump often, said, "I don't think it's bad to say we could have done better in Puerto Rico".

The White House defended the president.

The president also sent two tweets - one featuring a video message - warning people of the danger of Hurricane Florence as it approaches the East Coast, and assuring residents that emergency responders are prepared. Then came Maria and devastation in Puerto Rico, where a slow federal response was complicated by logistical concerns and preexisting economic and infrastructure deficiencies on the island territory.

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"The people of Puerto Rico should know that there have been significant changes", Rossello said.

"But the President continues to refuse to acknowledge his responsibility, and the problem is that if he didn't acknowledge it in Puerto Rico, God bless the people of SC and the people of North Carolina", Cruz said. Nelson on Twitter called the comments "shameful" and said that "we deserve and expect more from someone who holds the highest office in our country". He also said he was waiting for Trump to respond to a petition to help Puerto Rico complete work on emergency housing restoration programs and debris removal.

Trump, having long struggled to express empathy at times of national crises, sparked outrage when during his visit to the island he feuded with the mayor of San Juan and passed out paper towels to victims like he was shooting baskets.

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