Trump threatens to remove FEMA from Puerto Rico. Call your elected officials.

In a series of connected tweets this morning (October 12, 2017), Trump threatened to limit or discontinue aid to the island of Puerto Rico, devasted by Hurricane Maria on September 20. 3.5 million Americans live on the island.

Read from the bottom to the top.

These threats against the American citizens who live in Puerto Rico by the White House are the culmination of a lackluster recovery effort by the American government and even outright hostility by the chief executive.

While initial recovery response from the US federal government wa slow, and Trump's comments did not inspire confidence, Trump began a full blast war against the island on September 30, attacking the Mayor of San Juan, the people of Puerto Rico as lazy, and describing the administration's response so far as a "good news story."

Trump's only visit to the island on October 3 was a real and public relations disaster. He was broadly mocked for 1) complaining that Puerto Rico was pulling the Federal Budget out of wack and 2) throwing paper towels at a crowd. At the time of his visit, Trump again praised the federal response to the storm, even as more than 90 percent of the island was without power and most Puerto Ricans had no drinking water.

Press and other reports this week have made clear that, though, it has been nearly three weeks since Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico, The island's health care workers and hospitals are facing a crisis exacerbated by diesel fuel shortages and low supplies of medicine. Currenlty, only 16 percent of the island has electricity.

A decision to remove FEMA and other first responders from a recovery area would be highly unusual. The New York Times reported this today: "It's fairly typical for FEMA, D.H.S. and other executive agencies to be on the ground running recovery operations for years to come," said James Norton, the former official, who worked at the Department of Homeland Security under Mr. Bush. "I would expect them to be operating in Texas and Florida for the next couple of years."

Charles Blow, New York Times columnist, tweeted this comparison of Trump on Houston and Trump on Puerto Rico:

Melissa Mark-Viverito, the speaker of the New York City Council, who has family members living on the island, spoke about Trump's attitude to Puerto Rico before his Thursday morning tweets, "There is this view that, somehow, we don't merit that level of concern or attention or respect from this government. Somehow, we're a burden and we're mooching. That's the kind of language this president is throwing around."

Call your elected officials and demand that help for Puerto Rico be increased. Call the White House ( Switchboard: 202-456-1414. TTY/TTD Comments: 202-456-6213)and ask that Trump's phone be removed from his control.

This is a good place to find the number for your officials.


October 12, 2017

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