Washington – President Trump has threatened to withdraw FEMA from Puerto Rico and abandon the federal recovery effort there, as half the island still has no drinking water and more than 80 percent lacks electricity three weeks after Hurricane Maria.
FEMA officials have also acknowledged there is a massive shortage of food being provided on the island, while health officials have warned hospitals are in dire conditions.
Last week, Trump attempted to blame Puerto Rico for the humanitarian catastrophe, tweeting, “all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes.” Trump then tweeted, “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” Trump’s tweet sparked immediate backlash, both across the continental U.S. and on Puerto Rico.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said Trump was threatening to “Condemn us to a slow death of non-drinkable water, lack of food, lack of medicine.” She also appealed to the United Nations, UNICEF and the world to “stand with the people of Puerto Rico and stop the genocide that will result from the lack of appropriate action of a President that just does not get it because he has been incapable of looking in our eyes and seeing the pride that burns fiercely in our hearts and souls.”