Puerto Rico faces growing humanitarian crisis following devastation blow from Hurricane Maria; Garrett Tenney reports from San Juan
Puerto Rico is in the throes of a full-blown “humanitarian crisis,” with washed-out roads, downed power lines and damaged infrastructure — a scene President Trump intends to view first hand next week.
Trump, who has been criticized for not focusing more on Puerto Rico in the days following the devastating Category 3 storm, said Tuesday the federal government is working hard to get food and water to the U.S. territory, saying the island was “hit as hard as you can hit.”
“Those people are very important to all of us,” he said. “We are working very, very hard on Puerto Rico.”
Though the federal government has sent aid to Puerto Rico, recovery efforts have been hampered by logistical hurdles on the island of more than 3.4 million U.S. citizens.
Rep. Paul Ryan called the destruction a “humanitarian crisis” and vowed to help.
“They need our help and they are going to get our help,” Ryan said Tuesday, adding the $15 billion Congress passed earlier this month for hurricanes Harvey and Irma also applied to Puerto Rico.
Local officials have said they have been unable to reach more than half of the towns on the Caribbean island; however, they continue working hard to get food and water to isolated communities.