There has been a great need for relief in Puerto Rico after the deadly hurricane struck the island last month. The need for food, water, and basic medical supplies is great as aid is carried to the island slowly and distributed even slower. Some 80 percent of the island is without power and basic essentials. There has been an outpouring of aid and relief to the island, but logistics are ever complicating.
One of the largest controversies to come out of the chaos that engulfed the island after the storm was a conflict between President Trump and his administration's handling of the emergency and local officials who don't believe the effort is going well. In a series of interviews, the mayor of San Juan has repeatedly criticized the President, often wearing t-shirts on cable news with messages critical of the administration. The heated controversy has taken a dark, very public turn.
In a short trip to Puerto Rico this week, IJR had the ability to talk with the governor of the island. His name is Ricardo Rosello and he is an elected Democrat. He has also worked closely with the Trump administration and met with Trump on his visit to the island. We asked point blank, “How has your interaction been with President Trump?”
His answer is here in full:
“The president has been very proactive in giving Puerto Rico what we've asked. He issued pre landfall emergency declarations. He declared Puerto Rico a disaster area pretty quickly with just a verbal petition on my part. Waived certain things from FEMA as well and also supported the $4.9 billion DERF component in the legislation. So the people of Puerto Rico recognize that support and I personally am grateful that the White House has taken steps so that Puerto Rico can get out of the emergency and start rebuilding.”
When asked about how bipartisan it sounds to have a Democrat complimenting the Trump administration, Rosello said, “There are no colors here. There is no party in a disaster. There are humans and Americans in a disaster.”
A very different message from a very different politician.