HF Statement on Trump’s Response to the Humanitarian Crisis in Puerto Rico

October 1, 2017 (New York, NY) – José Calderón, President of Hispanic Federation, issued the following statement regarding Trump’s response to the recovery and relief efforts in Puerto Rico:

“President Trump continues to reach new lows. As Puerto Ricans of every political persuasion have united to rebuild their devastated island, the President has taken aim at San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz for asking the federal relief efforts to move more quickly and efficiently.

In response to these criticisms, the President has not only turned a deaf ear to her call for help but has also unleashed a series of tweets that accuse Puerto Ricans of not pulling their weight in relief efforts. Anyone with family on the island or who has seen footage of the rescue and relief efforts in the days immediately following Hurricane Maria knows that these accusations are not only false but calumnious. If anything, Puerto Ricans on the island and in the mainland have been able to serve and care for tens of thousands of people in great need, without the benefit of federal aid or coordination.

What is unfolding in Puerto Rico is the worst humanitarian disaster in the US since Hurricane Katrina. President Trump can either lead the 3.4 million US citizens on the island to recovery or he can sit idly by and watch Puerto Rico begin a heart-breaking decline into chaos.

We hope that even if the President is incapable of understanding that true leadership isn't about leveling insults at people or entire communities, that he begins to comprehend that voters across our entire nation are watching closely his response to the devastation and despair millions of American citizens are currently enduring in Puerto Rico. We will neither forgive nor forget a less than full-fledged response from the Trump administration that provides the people of Puerto Rico with the support they need for a complete recovery."