Media Tries to Paint Crisis in Puerto Rico as Trump’s Katrina

Obama officials criticize Trump admin's response

BY:

Days after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, journalists have been quick to label the natural disaster as President Donald Trump's Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane Maria caused widespread devastation that left more than 3 million people without power. Much of Puerto Rico's infrastructure was destroyed in the storm, stifling recovery efforts from reaching certain parts of the island. To compound problems, communications with parts of the island are still down, which makes assessing the amount of aid towns need more difficult.

Journalists criticized Trump for his lack of tweets over the weekend about the situation in Puerto Rico, with some arguing that Maria could damage his presidency like Katrina damaged George W. Bush's presidency in 2005.

CNBC reporter John Harwood pleaded that Puerto Rico needs "massive help" from Washington, D.C.

About an hour later, Harwood updated his tweet with information he received from a Trump administration official.

The federal government has sent over 10,000 federal staff, including 700 FEMA personnel to help with recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"While significant progress is being made, there is still a long way to go," the FEMA spokesperson said in a statement Monday evening. "As access to ports, airfields, and roads continues to become available, additional resources will continue to flow into hard hit areas."

The federal response is not enough for some reporters who are comparing the Trump administration's response to Bush's response to Katrina.

Former Obama administration officials sided with reporters in their criticism of Trump.

Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, deleted a tweet he sent out that claimed Republicans and Trump were slow to help Puerto Rico because the island does not have any electoral votes in the electoral college.

Two-time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gave her advice on what the Trump administration should do to help Puerto Rico.

The Associated Press reported on Saturday how federal aid began to pour into Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Large amounts of federal aid began moving into Puerto Rico on Saturday, welcomed by local officials who praised the Trump administration's response but called for the emergency loosening of rules long blamed for condemning the U.S. territory to second-class status.

Local officials have praised the federal government's response, the AP noted.

[Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo] Rossello and other officials praised the federal government for planning its response in detail before the storm hit, a contrast with what Puerto Rico has long seen as the neglect of 3.4 million Americans living in a territory without a vote in Congress or the electoral college.

"This is the first time we get this type of federal coordination," said Resident Commission Jenniffer Gonzalez, Puerto Rico's non-voting representative in Washington.

Rossello also praised the recovery efforts from federal officials.

Andrew Kugle   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Andrew Kugle is the assistant social media editor for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2013. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, he worked as a Staff/Press Assistant for South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem. Andrew is from De Pere, Wisconsin and lives in D.C. His Twitter handle is @AndrewJKugle. You can reach him at kugle@freebeacon.com.

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