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US Nurses Just Returned From Puerto Rico And Ripped Trump A New One On His Hurricane Response

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Olivia Lynch traveled from California to Puerto Rico for a two-week humanitarian mission with National Nurses United. After coming back, she told Vox.com, “The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s efforts in Puerto Rico are completely inadequate.”

Associate director of National Nurses United, Bonnie Castillo said, “We cannot be silent while millions of people continue to endure these conditions.”

The nurses went to Capitol Hill to speak with Democrats during which they explained the conditions Puerto Ricans, and those trying to help them face: Doctors performing surgeries while using the flashlight from their cellphones; hungry children calling out for help and older citizens becoming dehydrated because they lack access to clean water.

Just look at that devastation. All told, the nurses said the conditions they encountered in Puerto Rico were worse than the ones they faced when doing humanitarian missions in Haiti after a vicious earthquake and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

As Vox outlines, nurses told Democrats that while they were there some of them didn’t receive food, water or other forms of assistance from FEMA. From FEMA’s end, Puerto Rico presents a challenging situation, as the mountainous topography makes it difficult to reach those in the mountains. Compounding matters were floods knocked out bridges. However, the nurses who visited Puerto Rico share some startling insights into how FEMA “helped” those in need.

Lynch told Democrats, “FEMA workers asked residents for copies of utility bills and routing numbers for their bank accounts as part of the process for applying for aid.” This doesn’t make sense for varying reasons. Why does FEMA need bank account numbers? There are many ways to verify identity. Furthermore, many homes throughout Puerto Rico are destroyed or have sustained extensive water damage. Therefore, it isn’t illogical to say some might have had their paperwork destroyed. With these things in mind, if someone doesn’t have their paperwork, how do they receive aid?

Speaking of paperwork, nurses who visited said people waited in long lines only to receive paperwork from FEMA, not aid. There’s also a medical ship, the USNS Comfort, that’s docked close to San Juan. Nurse Kathy Kennedy told Democrats the ship has empty hospital beds while hospitals inland are brimming with people. FEMA said they want to transport people to the ship but are having a hard time doing it. It’s easy to point the fingers, but this is a difficult situation for everyone involved and it’s a situation we need to continue to help with.

The one person this boomerangs to is president Trump, who was quick to score a, “10 out of 10” for Puerto Rico aid efforts. Perhaps, if he got his head out of his ass and investigated the situation, he wouldn’t have been so quick to pat himself and others on the back. Instead, he wanted to give himself and FEMA a perfect score and wash his hands of the matter.


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