White House plans to unveil Puerto Rico relief plan next week

The ravaged island needs aid as soon as possible, but the White House is dragging its feet on an aid package

By Taylor Link
September 25, 2017 7:32PM (UTC)
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(AP Photo/Jorge A Ramirez Portela)

In Puerto Rico, many are wondering when help will come. But it will not be happening this week.

The White House, responding to the unfolding tragedy on American shores, has indicated it does not plan on sending a disaster aid request to Congress until the first or second week of October. All this as Puerto Rican officials are calling the disaster a humanitarian crisis and are pleading for help.


"Make no mistake — this a humanitarian disaster involving 3.4 million U.S. citizens," Governor Ricardo Rosselló said in a statement. "We will need the full support of the U.S. government. People cannot forget we are U.S. citizens — and proud of it."

Some residents have described the destruction on the island as "apocalyptic," CNN reported.

The island has been depleted of resources and energy, as most homes are without power. More than 80 percent of the island's cell phone towers were damaged, which has made it difficult for people to contact loved ones.


Before Puerto Rico can receive aid, the Office of Management and Budget and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has to appraise the damage in order to request money, according to HuffPost's Jennifer Bendery.

Composer and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is of Puerto Rican descent, called on Trump to expedite the process in a tweet Monday.


More danger is imminent in Puerto Rico, as a dam on the island is at risk of collapsing. The dam is releasing water after a "critical infrastructure failure" following the hurricane, CNN reported.

"Some of the dam has fallen apart," Rosselló said. "Now we are making sure that we can assess if the other part will fall down as well. It represents a great danger for about an estimated 70,000 people."

Taylor Link

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Congress Disaster Relief Donald Trump Hurricane Puerto Rico U.s. Territory