Thursday, September 28, 2017
Puerto Rico's Existential Crisis, One Week Out
More than a week has passed since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and put the lives of 3.4 million Americans in extreme peril. Drinking water is scarce, electricity is out for the vast majority of the island, food supplies are dwindling, communication infrastructure is down, and efforts to get aid into the many communities hit are hampered by roads and bridges out.
Today, finally after more than a week, incompetent con artist Donald "Rump" Trump waived the requirements under the Maritime Act of 1920 (the Jones Act) that shipping between U.S. ports be restricted to U.S. ships. That will allow an increase in the flow of assistance to the island. But there are numerous reports that shipping containers full of supplies, equipment and medicine are sitting at ports with insufficient off-loading and trucking to move it around the island. This begs the question of why Rump hasn't activated key military resources, namely the Army Corps of Engineers, the Signal Corps, the Army Transportation Corps, and the Navy Construction Battalions (Seabees). They could be the difference in clearing and repairing roads and bridges, in setting up communications and water resources, and in transporting the supplies and materials needed by the people of Puerto Rico. Is it another example of his incompetence or his lack of interest? We'll see in the coming days.
Again, here's a list of organizations helping relief efforts. Please give generously.