Jaimes: What hasn’t been said about US efforts in Puerto Rico

Despite the popular narrative, the United States is sending relief effort to Puerto Rico.



In a joint operation between the U.S. Navy and the Puerto Rico National Guard, FEMA food is loaded onto helicopters to be taken to remote parts of the island on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

In typical fashion, President Trump’s first agenda of most days is to tweet something controversial in nature. His decision to focus on the NFL left many wondering what his actions in Puerto Rico would be.

On Sept. 20, Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. It left Puerto Rican families in the U.S., like my own, to worry about our loved ones left on the island. Every day is a challenge for my family members, as they struggle to find phone lines that will update us on their status, food, and gas to power refrigerating important medications. For families whose roots do not lie in the beautiful territory, their only updates on the status of Hurricane Maria are from the news and social media.

While sources on Twitter may have followers believing that the United States is paying no attention to the crisis in Puerto Rico, Trump’s actions speak louder than his … tweets.

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On Sept. 28, Trump waived the 1920 Jones Act, making it easier for supplies to reach the island and necessary equipment to be repaired. The waiver will last for 10 days and will be extended, if needed. In doing this, the island will see relief efforts sped up to help as many people as possible.

I urge you to not rely on the bias of those who disagree with the president but to reach out to those directly affected by the storm. If you do not have connections to Puerto Rico, you may have connections to the citizen soldiers of the activated National Guard units in Iowa, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Minnesota, Maryland, South Carolina, and Nevada. While the governor of Puerto Rico could not fully activate its own National Guard, governors of the states previously mentioned have done all they can to assist the territory.

In addition to those National Guard units, the Defense Department and the American Red Cross have all been called upon to do their part in helping with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. FEMA has contributed to relief efforts but faces the challenge of reaching isolated areas.

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