Victor Torres blasts federal response, Donald Trump tweets on Puerto Rico – Florida Politics (blog)
Declaring that “Americans are dying as we speak,” state Sen. Victor Torres blasted the Puerto Rico federal disaster relief efforts in an impassioned call at the Florida Capitol Thursday.
Torres, an Orlando Democrat who’s been active in the Florida-side of the relief efforts since Hurricane Maria devastated the island three weeks ago, also criticized President Donald Trump‘s Thursday tweet that had declared federal relief agencies cannot stay in Puerto Rico forever.
He joined key members of the Florida House Democratic Caucus including state Reps. John Cortes of Kissimmee and Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando.
Torres, a former Marine who is Puerto Rican, blamed a lack of coordination between the U.S. Military, working with FEMA and government officials in Puerto Rico in transporting and delivering the relief supplies, and called the preparation and response to the disaster by the federal government “inadequate.”
“Americans are dying as we speak,” Torres said. “While fellow Americans have generously rallied to donate relief supplies and money to support recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, the federal government has been too slow to respond to this disaster and there is a total failure of coordinated relief efforts to provide supplies and support to the island.
“There are tons of donated supplies like food, water, medicine and other vital resources that are either sitting in warehouses here on the mainland waiting to be sent to Puerto Rico, or even worse, containers of supplies sitting in the seaports and airports on the island that are not being distributed to people who are in desperate need.”
Torres noted that 80 percent of Puerto Rico still is without power and nearly half the island has no drinking water or functioning sewer services.
And then Thursday came Trump’s latest tweets, which also quoted journalist