Trump: We Cannot Help Puerto Rico 'Forever!'

Debris is seen outside a home damaged by Hurricane Maria is seen outside San Juan Puerto Rico on Monday. As of Tuesday only 16 per cent of the island had its power restored

Debris is seen outside a home damaged by Hurricane Maria is seen outside San Juan Puerto Rico on Monday. As of Tuesday only 16 per cent of the island had its power restored

The Environmental Protection Agency, in an email Thursday (Oct 12) to reporters about its relief efforts, notes that it has received reports of people trying to drink potentially dangerous Superfund water, from wells that were sealed to avoid human exposure to toxins: "There are reports of residents obtaining, or trying to obtain, drinking water from wells at hazardous waste 'Superfund' sites in Puerto Rico".

"We saw the devastation, and we knew we had to get to the United States", he says.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is traveling to Puerto Rico on Friday.

"It's not easy when you're used to living in an American way of life, and then somebody tell you that you're going to be without power for six or eight months", said Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, who represents Puerto Rico as a nonvoting member of Congress. "It's not easy when you are continue to suffer - see the suffering of the people without food, without water, and actually living in a humanitarian crisis".

Asked for a response to Trump's remarks, the White House later said it was "committed to helping Puerto Rico" and working with local leaders and Congress "to identify the best fiscally responsible path forward". But Trump's tweets on Thursday raised questions about whether the U.S. resolve. "Mr. President, fulfill your moral imperative towards the people of Puerto Rico".

The Burlington County Board of Freeholders is teaming with the New Jersey Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development to host a supply drive for Hurricane Maria victims.

Trump criticized Puerto Rico for "a total lack of accountability", saying "electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes".

And after Trump said Cruz had "been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump", the mayor wore a black T-shirt featuring one word: "Nasty".

The nation could "rally" to focus on Puerto Rico's long-neglected economic problems. So some are turning to wells at Superfund sites on the island-areas designated the most toxic in US territory.

The governor's office did not respond to queries about the total amount of aid requested, which is now equivalent to around half of Puerto Rico's debt of some US$73 billion.

"We have gone all out for Puerto Rico", Trump said at that meeting with Puerto Rico officials, including Cruz.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency can (and does) stay involved in disaster relief for years after major catastrophes.

"'Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making, ' says Sharyl Attkisson", Trump posted.

Hurricane Maria struck Sept. 20. As Tom Gjelten reported Wednesday night, the island has 78 mayors - and, he added, "They're said to be accustomed to doing their business without interference from above".

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