President Donald Trump has been a frequent critic of Puerto Rico for what he has claimed to be its mishandling of disaster relief funds sent in the wake of multiple natural disasters. Now, it turns out that he was right.
On Saturday, Puerto Rico’s director of the office of emergency management, Carlos Acevedo, was fired after reports emerged alleging that supplies intended for the survivors of Hurricane Maria in 2017 were found sitting in a warehouse, unused, the Washington Examiner reported.
We know that Puerto Rico has been hit with more than its fair share of natural disasters. As a result, President Trump has made it part of his mission to help Puerto Rico recover, but he has done so in a cautious manner.
Let’s flashback to March of 2018. At the time, President Trump had faced months of criticism for the way he went about giving aid to Puerto Rico after the terrority was devastated the previous year by Hurricane Maria, which left nearly 3,000 dead and caused widespread power outages and extreme shortages of food, medicine, and water that lasted for months.
“Puerto Rico has been taken care of better by Donald Trump than by any living human being and I think the people of Puerto Rico understand it,” Trump told reporters at the time, according to USA Today. “You have the mayor of San Juan that, frankly, doesn’t know what she’s doing and the governor, they have to spend the money wisely. They don’t know how to spend the money and they’re not spending it wisely.”
They found what?
Now, back to the present situation.
This all started when a video began circulating on the internet showing stockpiles of supplies just sitting untouched in a warehouse. As a result, Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vazquez announced an investigation into Acevedo, who has since been fired.
“There are thousands of people who have made sacrifices to help those in the south, and it is unforgivable that resources were kept in the warehouse,” Vazquez said, according to ABC News.
Meanwhile, Acevedo is denying the claims against him, instead choosing to go after the citizens who made the video exposing the used supplies.
“The citizen who entered today to share the images on social networks, violated the security perimeter, which represented a risk for him,” Acevedo said, according to ABC. “For this reason, our colleagues instructed him to leave the area.”
Acevedo is set to be replaced by Jose Reyes, the chief of Puerto Rico’s National Guard. Let’s hope that he is far more competent and has more integrity than his predecessor.
But the bottom line is that President Trump was spot on with this one: mainland America was offering Puerto Rico a helping hand, and, because of mismanagement, the hurricane survivors the aid was meant to help never really got the full benefit. It was a waste for everyone involved.