Don’t Let Trump Abandon Puerto Rico

Apparently thinking tossing paper towels was enough, President Trump today threatened to “pull back federal relief workers in Puerto Rico, effectively threatening to abandon the U.S. territory amid a staggering humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria,” according to The Washington Post. So, the President is threatening to abandon U.S. citizens still devastated by Hurricane Maria three weeks ago, 84% of whom don’t have power and 37% who don’t have drinking water as reported by The New York Times on Tuesday. Puerto Rico’s health care is also in dire condition, The New York Times also reported the same day about people dying and in danger of dying for lack of fuel to run generators in hospitals needed for dialysis and running low on medicine. A 58-year-old teacher died after going without oxygen for a week.

Then there is this CBS News report on the growing health crisis in Puerto Rico due to contaminated water:

Puerto Rico is part of the United States. We’re not talking about foreign aid. Puerto Ricans are U.S. Citizens. A brief primer from Time Magazine:

It’s outrageous that President Trump does not seem to fully recognize that fact. Write your Senators and U.S. Representative to demand we provide adequate aid, as well as donate what you can to relief efforts .

Charities are important, but the U.S. government has responsibility for all of our citizens, whether they live in Puerto Rico, Texas or Florida.

One other song keeps running through my head, Bruce Springsteen‘s scathing We Take Care of Our Own following President Bush’s inadequate response to New Orleans’ devastation following Hurricane Katrina:

From Chicago to New Orleans
From the muscle to the bone
From the shotgun shack to the Superdome
There ain’t no help, the cavalry stayed home
There ain’t no one hearing the bugle blowin’
We take care of our own
We take care of our own
Wherever this flag’s flown
We take care of our own

At very least President Bush didn’t suggest we end aid to New Orleans when they were just starting recovery.  “Whereever this flag’s flown, we take care of our own”. . . It seems ironic that Trump and his Vice President Pence are refusing to see the point of the NFL protests against police shootings and racial discrimination and making it falsely about respect for the flag when once again U.S. citizens are being abandoned. Like with Katrina, you can’t help wondering if there would be any problem with aid getting there in time if everyone was white, weren’t bi-lingual (in Puerto Rico’s case), and had money. To not even recognize our fellow Puerto Ricans facing this devastation is beyond even that.

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