Puerto Rico in ruins
The Trump administration is under fire for its response to Hurricane Maria, which decimated the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico on its destructive tear through the Caribbean earlier this month. "The Navy and Air Force could have been there Sunday," said Ret. Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who managed the military response to Hurricane Katrina, on Thursday. "Could have opened the port, could have opened the air field. Why the hell has it taken this long to do that?" Honoré asked, adding that someone should have gotten President Trump "off the damn golf course."
On the subject of the damn golf course, The Washington Post published a report Friday evening on the impact of Trump's golfing excursion last weekend, shortly after Maria made landfall, noting that the administration went nearly silent on the hurricane for four days while the president golfed at his club in New Jersey and tweeted about the NFL.
No senior administration officials arrived in Puerto Rico to personally assess the damage until Monday, five days after Maria hit, and Trump waited until Thursday to waive the Jones Act, which limits the ships permitted to bring relief aid to the island.
Still, lack of public demonstration of support may not mean negligence, the Post story notes. Unnamed administration and Puerto Rican officials told the Post that while "communications and collaboration" between federal and local officials "has been unprecedented," that has not necessarily "translated into effectiveness on the ground" because of the storm's unexpected level of devastation.