WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump warned on Thursday that federal support for hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico cannot continue indefinitely, insisting that the island’s electric grid and infrastructure were in bad shape even before the storms.
“We cannot keep FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency), the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” Trump said on Twitter.
FEMA is coordinating the federal civilian response in Puerto Rico, where more than 10,000 employees from different US government agencies and departments are deployed.
“Congress to decide how much to spend” on the US commonwealth’s recovery, the president tweeted.
After being sideswiped by Hurricane Irma in early September, Puerto Rico felt the full fury of Maria, a Category 4 storm that is blamed for nearly 50 deaths and an estimated $80 billion in damage.
Many municipalities, especially in the island’s interior, continue to lack basic supplies, safe water and medications, while more than 90 percent of Puerto Rican homes and businesses remain without electricity.
“Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes,” Trump said on Thursday.