Trump says supplies streaming into storm-tossed Puerto Rico

Bill Rogers
September 29, 2017

"The people of Puerto Rico should not have any fear that there is not going to be food or medicine on the island", Crowley Maritime Vice President of Puerto Rico Services Jose Ayala told the WSJ. Critics like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., argued it had unnecessarily raised costs on Puerto Ricans in need of supplies.

Hurricane Harvey inundated Texas, Hurricane Irma tore through the Florida Keys and now Hurricane Maria has devastated the residents of Puerto Rico, leaving many for days without water, power or fuel.

Bossert says news of the devastation and frustration on the island isn't so much wrong as it is outdated. They either have to pay tariffs for landing at a US port, or they would have to go to Florida first to drop off their goods with a Puerto Rico-bound USA ship.

Nydia Velazquez, a New York Democrat who was born in Puerto Rico, also urged Mr Trump to approve a waiver saying the disaster could prove to be "his Hurricane Katrina".

He joined the growing list of officials who argued that lifting the the Jones Act - a federal law created to protect the financial interests of United States shipbuilders by limiting shipping by foreign vessels - would help expedite supplies to the ravaged island.

Most of the Caribbean island's 3.4 million people also are without electricity.

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According to CNN, Rosselló said he had not previously asked POTUS to lift the Jones Act so that aid might flow more fully to the island: "I did not solicit that to him personally but it is something that would help Puerto Rico, certainly, at least in the short run". "It is proceeding very well", she said.

Now Rihanna's adding her voice to the chorus of people calling on Trump to send more aid to the island.

Waiving restrictions on foreign vessels that carry cargo to Puerto Rico "could overwhelm the system, creating unnecessary backlogs and causing confusion on the distribution of critical supplies throughout the island,"' said Thomas Allegretti, the group's chairman. But he cautioned that the administration is operating with a playbook that works on the mainland rather than employing a unique response to a unique disaster. The problem is this is not any storm.

"Really our biggest challenge has been the logistical assets to try to get some of the food and some of the water to different areas of Puerto Rico", Rossello said interview with MSNBC on Thursday.

It's never quick enough.

The 1,000-bed US Navy hospital ship Comfort will arrive next week, after sailing from its home port in Virginia on Friday.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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