Castor & Nelson criticize FEMA & Trump for cutting off Puerto Rico aid

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Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria
The Ocean Park area of San Juan, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. September 2017.

Congress member Kathy Castor is slamming the Trump administration for cutting off emergency supplies like food and water to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

“There’s a very disturbing report out today that the Trump administration is cutting off FEMA supplies of food and water to Puerto Rico, even to areas that do not have potable water and have not had electricity restored. So we’re going to be sending a letter today to the Trump administration saying that you simply cannot act with such a broad brush while so many families are still struggling to get by in Puerto Rico,” Castor told WMNF News.

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U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is also speaking out against the move. His office points out that in a speech on the Senate Floor Tuesday, the Democrat from Florida called FEMA’s decision “unconscionable” and “a travesty.” The Tampa Bay Times reports that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) also opposes the move.

Update 31 Jan 2018, via AP:

“By MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN , Associated Press
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HAVANA (AP) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it is not cutting off food and water supplies to Puerto Rico despite reports that it intended to do so.

FEMA spokesman William Booher tells The Associated Press that the agency had been evaluating whether enough stores and supermarkets had reopened by Jan. 31 to justify ending distribution of food and water to municipal governments on the island. He says that decision had not actually been taken but officials mistakenly made the date public this week.

Booher says FEMA is in the process of winding down food and water distribution as stories and markets come back online, but will continue to distribute aid to needy towns for the foreseeable future.”

 

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