If You Want to Know the Truth About the Situation in Puerto Rico, You Won’t Find it On The FEMA Website
Here is the scoop. As the Washington Post reports, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website was reporting up until Wednesday night that, in the wake of hurricane Maria, half of the Puerto Ricans had water and only 5 percent had electricity. Now, poof, overnight, that info up and disappeared. Why?
FEMA spokesperson William Booher didn’t really have an answer to that. He did point out that the information is still out there, specifically on a site run by the Governor of Puerto Rico…which is in Spanish. He said that FEMA will still give the information out at news conferences and interviews, but if you are looking towards the FEMA website to get up to date info on the status of electricity and water in Puerto Rico, you are out of luck.
This didn’t go down well with some Democrats, like New Mexico Democratic Representative Michelle Grisham who sent an email to VOX expressing her anger that this info just up and went missing from the FEMA website.
“In response to the complete devastation in Puerto Rico, we have seen President Trump focus more on his public perception than on actually providing life-saving food, water, electricity, and medical aid to the Puerto Rican people whose lives are on the line. I am outraged by the lack of transparency.”
The Trump administration has been heavily criticized for what has been deemed a slow and inadequate response to the crisis facing Puerto Rico. As pointed out in a Washington Post opinion piece by Jeremy Konyndyk, Trump’s response has been nothing short of childish at best. He has insulted his way through the crisis and continually praised the work of his administration, patting himself on the back for the great work being done even though great work hasn’t been done.
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“Trump repeatedly downplayed the severity of the crisis; described his administration’s response as “incredible” and “unbelievable”; praised the then-official death toll of 16 as something Puerto Ricans “can be very proud of”; told disaster survivors at a distribution site “you don’t need” the flashlights he was handing to them; and claimed Puerto Rico had not experienced a “real catastrophe, like Hurricane Katrina.” Those remarks followed other comments from Trump and his senior advisers who have characterized the federal response as “amazing,” and “a good news story.””
The fact that only 5 percent of Puerto Ricans have electricty and only half have water does not a good news story make. Is that why this info is now gone? Is this another way for Trump to reign in the narrative to make it look as though the devastating situation isn’t so bad? Regardless, this is a crisis that isn’t about to disappear and while the administration appears to be in damage control mode, the outrage over how poorly Trump is managing this disaster keeps growing.
Feature image by Micheal Reynolds/Getty Images
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