Latest News

Trump gives self 10/10 for Puerto Rico response

Friday, October 20, 2017

Print this page Email A Friend!


WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday gave his administration ten-out-of-ten for its response a hurricane that hammered Puerto Rico exactly one month ago, as 80 per cent of the US island remained without power.

Meeting Puerto Rico's governor Ricardo Rossello in the Oval Office, Trump acknowledged the massive scale of the rebuilding effort, but defended his administration's response.

"We have provided so much, so fast, we were actually there before the storm hit," Trump said. "They got hit dead center."

As well as ravaging the electricity grid, the storm knocked out bridges, closed roads and made clean water for drinking, cooking and bathing scarce.

Asked how he would rank the administration's response out of ten, Trump responded "I give ourselves a ten."

"We have done a really great job."

When Trump asked Rosello "did we do a great job?" the governor said that Trump had met all of his requests.

But he added that much more needed to be done to avoid a humanitarian disaster.

He said the authorities aim to have about 30 per cent of the island back with power by the end of the month, and 50 per cent by the middle of next month.

But he warned that without hope, Puerto Ricans -- who have the right to live in the continental United States -- would flee the island in large numbers, feeding an economic crisis.

"What's going to keep the people there and keep this going is knowing that we have the backing of the White House and knowing that we're going to have the backing of Congress," he said.

They need to know, he said, "that we can have the resources appropriate" to deal with the storm. "US citizens of Puerto Rico can come out of this catastrophe stronger than ever before."

- 'Not their fault' -

Trump had previously raised concerns on the island by warning that federal aid for Puerto Rico will not be open-ended.

But he indicated Thursday that a mixture of grants and loans could be found to rebuild, in particular, the electricity grid, which was in poor shape before the storm.

The federal government would have to be paid back before private bondholders, he added.

"We're helping a lot," Trump said. "We're doing that because we have an obligation to Puerto Rico, to humanity, to ourselves."

Trump also rowed back on some comments that appeared to blame Puerto Ricans for their plight.

"It's not the people's fault, they lost their house, they were devastated," he said.

"A person loses his or her house and then they can't go to work. If you lose your house, you know, it's

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT