Trump promises visit, aid to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico

Trump promises visit, aid to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico

Others openly wondered how a USA military that is worth hundreds of billions can't get its act together for the people of Puerto Rico. The storm has been blamed for 16 deaths in Puerto Rico so far, but the lack of food, medicine, drinking water and electricity have created a much larger threat to public health.

"This is the single biggest, major catastrophe in the history of Puerto Rico, bar none, and it is probably the biggest hurricane catastrophe in the United States", Governor Ricardo Rossello said.

More than 1,100 emergency responders and National Guard troops from New Jersey are going to Puerto Rico to help with the recovery from Hurricane Maria. That comes after he accused the San Juan mayor of poor leadership and being unable to get workers to help Puerto Rico recover.

President Trump also gave another reason why relief efforts have been impeded.

The Jones Act is a 97-year-old maritime law that says shipping between ports in the United States must be done by US -owned, USA -flagged, and USA -built ships operated by USA citizens.

At @ricardorossello request, @POTUS has authorized the Jones Act be waived for Puerto Rico. The last previous waiver was in December 2012 to allow petroleum products to be delivered for relief assistance after Hurricane Sandy.

President Donald Trump has temporarily waived a shipping law called the Jones Act that some believed to be hampering shipments of supplies to Puerto Rico after destruction caused by Hurricane Maria.

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Trump, who is scheduled to visit Puerto Rico and possibly the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday, has come under increasing criticism for his administration's response to Maria.

The Trump administration announced Thursday that it has temporarily waived a USA shipping restriction for Puerto Rico known as the Jones Act.

Trump on Wednesday, however, said he was considering lifting the Jones Act.

Trump told reporters on Wednesday that "we're thinking" about lifting the law, but added that a "lot of shippers" didn't want it lifted.

According to Reuters, the White House felt there was no need to lift the Act "because it would do nothing to address the island's main impediment to shipping, damaged ports".

Life on the island remains hard, however, with residents lining up in the sweltering heat to get gas, food and cash. More than 1 million Puerto Ricans live in Florida, including almost 115,000 who live in Hillsborough County.

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