On Thursday, President Donald Trump sat down with the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, in order to discuss the response of his administration to Hurricane Maria back in September. During his meeting, the president said that his administration deserved a 10 out of 10 when it came to their response to the devastation wrought by the hurricane. However, when he asked Rossello what he thought of the response, the answer was perhaps less than a full endorsement.
As the Washington Post reported, Donald Trump has often given himself high marks for his response to the situation in Puerto Rico. Since Hurricane Maria devastated the island, the president has said that the relief efforts of his administration have been “great,” “tremendous,” and other positive adjectives, while also giving himself an A-plus in terms of overall response. However, while Donald Trump might believe that the response in Puerto Rico has been a 10 out of 10, when he asked the governor how well they did, the response was less enthusiastic, although he did say that the government did “respond immediately.”
The governor said that he understands that there may be some “logistical limitations” on the island, and that there were a number of days where the ports were unable to be opened. Ricardo Rossello also pointed out while answering Donald Trump’s question, that it was not until a few days ago that the airports were brought back to full working capacity, which did not help with getting recovery efforts moving forward. However, he did say that even with the limitations Puerto Rico has been faced with since Hurricane Maria, they have still “gotten about 15,000 DOD personnel in Puerto Rico, about 2,000 FEMA personnel, HHS and others.”
While the governor did acknowledge the work that Donald Trump and his administration have done in order to help with the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, he also said that a lot more is still needed. Rossello said that he believes “everybody over here recognizes there’s a lot of work to be done in Puerto Rico,” and that the hope is that under the president’s continued leadership, things will be achieved in the long run.
NPR reported that Donald Trump gave his administration the 10 out of 10 rating because he feels as if the situation in Puerto Rico “was worse than Katrina” and that “it was in many ways worse than anything people have ever seen.” The president seemed to make it clear that when one looks at the numbers and what relief entails, his administration has handled things in a manner that he believes to be “tremendous.”
With the amount of work and help that is required in order to assist Puerto Rico in their recovery efforts following Hurricane Maria, even FEMA administrator Brock Long has said that it “is going to require a solution far greater than what FEMA typically puts down.” While Donald Trump is giving his administration a solid 10 when it comes to the work that has already been done in order to help in the recovery efforts for the island, there is still a long way to go before Puerto Rico will be back on its feet with essential functions restored.
[Featured Image by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images]