President Donald Trump has come under intense fire recently over his response to Hurricane Maria. While Trump’s efforts to response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were met with some bipartisan praise, the reaction to Maria has been more mixed.
From getting into Twitter fights with Puerto Rican politicians, to tossing papertowels into a crowd like basketballs, Trump has done a number of things that have caused many people to question if he is truly doing as much as he could.
However Trump has received praise for his response, including from former FEMA director James Lee Witt, who ran the agency during President Bill Clinton’s time in office, The Washington Post reported.
Witt explained that he would give Trump an “A+” in terms of the government’s response to Maria’s devastation.
“They’ve maxed out probably how many people they could put there,” Witt explained. “I know they’re all working frantically, but sometimes that’s not enough.”
Trump has indeed dispatched many governmental resources to Puerto Rico. The problem is that most of the island’s infrastructure was simply wiped out by the hurricane, and that isn’t something that can be rebuilt overnight.
Parts of the island will be without electricity and running water for months, and it will be years before the island is fully recovered. That isn’t the sort of devastation you can simply fix by throwing a few thousands more National Guard troops at.
Trump has done all a president can in the short term to help Puerto Rico. Yes, maybe a few of his public statements shouldn’t have been made, but in terms of actual aid, that has flown in as much as conditions on the ground have allowed.
Right now, Puerto Rico needs to accept that recovery is going to take a while. That isn’t Trump’s fault, it’s simply the way things are because of how devastating the storm was — and how weak the island was in the first place.
Puerto Rico will rebuild, and the United States government will help it rebuild. However it will take time, and the people need to stop expecting some miracle that will turn all the lights on overnight.
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