President Donald Trump and his White House have been raked over the coals by the mainstream media for the federal government’s response to Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria.
This attack has been renewed since the estimated death toll was recently dramatically increased to approximately 3,000 after being under 100.
Trump’s also been called “disrespectful” over questioning the new total. He’s mostly been blamed for the deaths, regardless of the number, accused of not helping or not helping enough.
But he did help, and news reports since Hurricane Maria have revealed that the local authorities were really responsible if aid was not being distributed to those in need. Despite this, Trump has continued to be bashed and blamed.
On Sunday, according to The Hill, Adm. Karl Schultz, the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, offered a defense, saying Trump “brought the full force of government resources to bear in its response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.”
“I know that the (federal) efforts that I saw were very much committed to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,” Schultz told ABC’s Jonathan Karl, according to The Hill.
“The response in Maria was massive. It’s an island, which makes things challenging,” he said. “The supplies that were lifted in by sea and air. It’s a challenging area.”
Schultz also made clear that he wasn’t criticizing the new death toll numbers. He just wanted to make sure the truth, according to what he saw and experienced, was being told about Trump and the federal government’s aid for Puerto Rico.
“I’m not calling any numbers into doubt, what I’m saying is that, as our team was part of it, we were very much supported and empowered to get down there and try to be helpful,” he said, according to The Hill.
This reflects what Trump has argued about aid in response to Hurricane Maria, as well.
Schultz is not the only person with firsthard knowledge who has spoken up. In September of last year, a woman claiming to be a police officer in Puerto Rico called in to a New York radio station to talk about the aid sent into them.
She claimed the same thing about the donations not being distributed. She blamed Puerto Rican officials.
The statement in the caption on that post that Trump lied is a crock. Puerto Rico's cop telling the truth about Hurricane Maria's aid. https://t.co/DbJCEeWnjP
— Amber (@amberjackson81) September 16, 2018
Shultz also told Karl that Trump was completely involved in preparations for Hurricane Florence.
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Shultz, who briefs Pres. Trump on Hurricane Florence, says "the president is completely leaning in — anything the feds need to do to support the locals, the state partners … we feel fully supported" https://t.co/yoEOtj6TLc #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/jDKgHfbkhd
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) September 16, 2018
Obviously, the Trump White House takes disaster preparedness and response seriously. Yet the mainstream media and Democrats continue to blame Trump for Puerto Rico’s problems after Hurricane Maria.
As Schultz told Karl on Sunday, the federal response to the storm was “massive.”
But local governments need to do their parts responsibly, too.
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