Discover more from Wonkette
Trump Silent About The Puerto Rico Earthquakes, So They've Got That Going For Them
'The Puerto Rico Earthquakes? What sport do they even play? Get back to me if they make the playoffs.'
Puerto Rico was hit by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake Tuesday, followed by a series of aftershocks that have left many residents of the island sleeping outside or in shelters. The territory's still-fragile electrical grid was entirely offline for much of the day following the pre-dawn quake, but is being restored more quickly than following Hurricane Maria in 2017, which left much of Puerto Rico without electricity for months. Guess the grifters from Montana weren't involved this time out. The territory's power authority said today that power had been restored to 80 percent of customers, but NBC News reports it might take a year to fully fix one generating station that provides about a quarter of Puerto Rico's electricity.
Donald Trump has so far not made any public comment on the earthquake, although he may be vaguely aware it happened since he did at least sign an emergency declaration Tuesday evening, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency to help get emergency aid to people who need it. But no tweets or statements to the press, or at his big slob picnic last night in Ohio, although he did find time to mention he beat Abraham Lincoln as Best President Ever. Today, he found time to retweet a Republican senator's praise for Colorado firefighters heading to Australia, but not a word about the latest American disaster that isn't him.
The White House Press Office did at least issue a statement Tuesday on the emergency declaration, though nothing since then. Asked by CNN to comment on the "president's" silence, the press office "said they speak for the President," so we presume Trump won't actually mention the earthquake, which has left thousands of American citizens unable to return to their homes.
CNN also spread the fake news that this is somehow unlike other natural disasters, when Trump has sent his weird Best Wishes, including earthquakes in California and Mexico, plus hurricanes that hit multiple US states. "Most recently, he sent ' love ' to Australia as the country battles wildfires." As of blogtime, Trump's large idiot son has at least not claimed the quakes were really caused by Puerto Ricans jumping up and down too hard.
FEMA and HHS are on the job, although it's unclear when the island's schools will be back in session, since FEMA hasn't yet said whether the buildings can be rendered structurally sound with paper towels.
As for aid to help Puerto Rico rebuild from the earthquake, that may take a while, since the island is still waiting on much of the aid Congress appropriated following Hurricane Maria, and the Trump administration still isn't sure leaders of the tropical vacation paradise are mature enough to manage billions of dollars, because they're not merely simple laughing villagers who dance and sing for the Yankee Dollar, they're also the most corrupt third-world thugs to ever run a government that Trump isn't sending weapons to.
The New York Daily News spoke to an anonymous official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development who explained the department simply can't yet release aid from the last disaster because of concerns about "corruption" and "financial mismanagement."
"Given the Puerto Rican government's history of financial mismanagement, corruption and other abuses, we must ensure that any HUD assistance provided helps those on the island who need it the most: the people of Puerto Rico," the HUD official told The News, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal operations.
The official did not give a timeline for when the aid will be released and downplayed the island's need for more assistance.
"Puerto Rico already has access to $1.5 billion and has so far only spent $5.8 million — less than 1% of those funds," the official said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wasn't standing for the administration's bullshit; Thursday, she called on the administration to immediately release all appropriated Maria aid, adding that the administration's "ongoing withholding of funds appropriated by Congress to Puerto Rico is illegal."
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-New York), who grew up in Puerto Rico but somehow serves in Congress if that's even legal, pointed out a conclusion by HUD's inspector general that the island's government can indeed manage its own affairs, even emergency aid it should have received last year. She added (we'd like to think she rolled her eyes at even having to say it) that it's not HUD's job to decide whether appropriated funds should be released or not, telling the Daily News,
The real motivation for withholding these dollars is Donald Trump's disdain for the people of Puerto Rico and heartless disregard for their suffering.
Rep. Velazquez has not yet been the subject of a Presidential tweet telling her to go back to her own country, but it's only a matter of time.
And while the administration has remained silent, Chef José Andrés and his nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, are back in Puerto Rico and have served 10,000 meals to earthquake victims in four communities so far.
A baseball field has become home for many people after the earthquake....Reporting in from Guayanilla in the south… https: //t.co/QdGD5n8Dro
— José Andrés (@José Andrés) 1578533398.0
Wouldn't it be neat if Puerto Rico didn't have to depend on charities to be recognized as Americans who need help? In the meantime, we'd like to urge the government of Puerto Rico to announce immediately it will search the earthquake rubble for the "DNC Server," which is neither missing nor a single computer.
Yr Wonkette is supported entirely by reader donations. Please help us keep the lights on, and if you want to send some dollars to World Kitchen or the Hispanic Federation , today, we won't mind at all.