A summary of the US press by Courrier International.
Is Puerto Rico Trump's Katrina?
COURIER INTERNATIONAL - PARIS
Published on 27/09/2017 - 13:25
Transl: Google + o5
After the passage of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico desperately needed help.
The response of the president and federal authorities to Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico, has been highly criticized. Already in full economic crisis, the island feels completely abandoned by Washington.
"Trump ignores the sufferings of Puerto Rico" (Slate); "America has deserted Puerto Rico devastated by Hurricane Maria" (USA Today); "Where is the urgency in the answer to Puerto Rico?" (The Boston Globe). These are some of the op.eds titles published in the American press in recent days.
"The Trump administration's weak response to Hurricane Maria is similar to that of Bush after Katrina," the hurricane that struck New Orleans in 2005, advances Slate's Phillip Carter
, a military specialist. The late reaction and unpreparedness of the federal authorities had been catastrophic for the image of President George W. Bush.
"There is no eagerness, as was the case after Hurricane Harvey in Texas, to approve the emergency aid funds that Puerto Rico definitely needs," says a Washington Post
columnist. There has been no mass movement of troops and equipment in the direction of Puerto Rico [...]. President Trump, so visible when Harvey and Irma hit [Florida], more or less ignored the devastation caused by Maria, paying more attention to American football matches.
As the center-left journalist reminds us, the 3.4 million American citizens living on the island, with the special status of "associated free state" in the United States , have long been reduced to being second-class citizens: they have no elected representatives in Congress, do not participate in presidential elections, do not benefit from the same social assistance and suffer from a high poverty rate. [...]
Abandoned by America
The response of the media is also denounced. "You have not seen much television coverage or terrible images of people dying under the rubble," said a USA Today columnist.
President Trump, the Congress and, in fact, the whole country, "miserably abandoned Puerto Rico."
Under the fire of critics, President Trump finally announced on Tuesday 26 September that he would visit next week on the island. In saying that his administration was doing "really very good work".
The situation could worsen
Time is running out. An out-of-service electrical network, devastated crops, 60% of the island deprived of water, 16 dead: the damage is considerable, notes The Boston Globe
. The absence of electricity and medical equipment, the lack of drinking water create the conditions for a possible health crisis, explains The New York Times
Already in the midst of an economic crisis and bankrupt since last spring, the island is not prepared to face the disaster. "Puerto Rico, already broke, is broken," says the Boston Globe
. "My native land is destroyed. President Trump, Puerto Rico needs your help," says in USA Today
a reporter from the island.