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Puerto Rico’s governor says Trump has refused meeting on disaster relief

Puerto Rico’s governor says Trump has refused meeting on disaster relief

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President Trump has refused to satisfy privately with Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rossello, the governor mentioned Friday, as he condemned the Trump administration for not offering extra catastrophe reduction within the 17 months since Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory and left hundreds useless.


The Democratic governor, who has been reluctant to lash out on the Trump administration at instances, mentioned the Republican president himself bears accountability for the gradual tempo of catastrophe reduction.

“Ultimately the buck has to cease someplace,” Rossello mentioned Friday on the opening day of the Nationwide Governors Affiliation assembly in Washington. “It has to cease with the president.”

Whereas the governor’s workforce has been in common contact with federal officers, Rossello mentioned he made private and non-private requests in current weeks to satisfy with the president. The White Home denied the requests with out giving a purpose, he mentioned.

A White Home official famous that as a substitute of constructing Trump out there, the administration organized a gathering between Rossello and Ben Carson, secretary of the Division of Housing and City Improvement, and Brock Lengthy, who leads the Federal Emergency Administration Company.


Rossello mentioned he hoped to deal with Puerto Rico’s challenges with Trump instantly throughout a White Home assembly with dozens of governors on Monday.

“There is no such thing as a motion,” Rossello mentioned. “We actually want motion proper now.”

He in contrast the tempo of restoration with the trouble after Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005: Seventeen months after Katrina, federal officers had produced greater than 10,000 “venture worksheets,” whereas 17 months after Maria, simply 60 have been produced, he mentioned. The shape describes the work needed to revive a facility that was broken or destroyed.

The September 2017 storm triggered an estimated $100 billion in harm and left an estimated three,000 individuals useless. Trump has denied the estimated demise toll, suggesting the quantity was made as much as make him look dangerous.

Some Puerto Rican Trump critics have instructed bigotry as an element behind the Trump administration’s lack of consideration to the Caribbean Island, the place Spanish is most residents’ first language.

Rossello wouldn’t say a technique or one other whether or not he suspected racism.

“I might hope that on this time in america, the best nation on the planet, that was made nice due to immigrants and variety, that that would not be the prevailing thought,” he mentioned when requested whether or not he feared Trump was motivated by racism. “That might be my hope, as a result of whether it is, it is a scary prospect not just for Puerto Rico however for everybody.”

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