President Trump's handling of Hurricane Maria has been criticized by everyone, except Trump himself, who said his team "did a fantastic job."
Critics say the administration is a fast and robustly to the storm, which battery infrastructure across Puerto Rico. Hospitals could not function. Clean water and food were hard to come by. A year later, power is still spotty. An estimated 3,000 Puerto Ricans died during the disaster and immediate aftermath, according to a George Washington University report.
Now, Trump is considering weakening the administration's response.
reported that the White House had directed the Army Corps of Engineers to examine how much of the $ 13.9 billion in emergency funds set aside for Puerto Rico and other storm-damaged areas could be used to build a border wall. The article said:
Nearly $ 14 billion in emergency disaster relief funds have been allocated but not yet under contract for a variety of projects in states including California, Florida and Texas. territory of Puerto Rico that have been ravaged by recent hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters, according to the aide familiar with the matter.
The money funds a variety of projects, mostly flood control to prevent future disasters.
While progress has been made in helping Puerto Rico, experts and residents say that projects are nowhere near completion. Diverting funds, they argue, suggests a lack of commitment from the administration.
Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Who was born in Puerto Rico, denounced the proposal as unacceptable. She said in a statement:
"It would not be possible to buy money from Puerto Rico, which would have to do with enormous catastrophes, costing thousands of American citizens lives, in order to pay for Donald Trump's foolish, offensive and hateful wall. Siphoning funding from real disasters to pay for a crisis made by the President is wholly unacceptable and the American people will not fall for it. My Democratic colleagues in Congress and I will fight with every ounce of energy we have. "
Ricardo Rosselló, Governor of Puerto Rico, took note of the idea and called on Trump to clarify his plans. Hey tweeted:
"No wall should be funded on the pain and suffering of citizens who have endured tragedy and loss through natural disaster. This includes that in CA, TX, PR, VI and other jurisdictions. Today it's us, tomorrow it could be you. No justification should be reclassified the money that US citizens will use to rebuild their communities. If anything, we should get more resources to rebuild those impacted areas faster. "
Just before this proposed plan was made, Puerto Ricans had an overwhelmingly negative view of the President's handling of relief projects. A September 2018 Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 8 in 10 Puerto Rico residents gave Trump a negative review for his response to the hurricane with about half giving him the lowest grade: "poor."
Trump's handling of Puerto Rico is one of the reasons that he has such low approval ratings (only 25 percent, according to Gallup) from American Hispanics. The president defends his politics by saying he's focusing on winning the support of his base – a largely white, older and more conservative group of Americans. But most voters are not part of Trump's base, as the midterm elections proved. Unless Trump makes changes in how he responds to issues of importance to Hispanic voters, he stands to lose the support or even more Hispanics in 2020.