President Trump Threatens to Cut Aid for Puerto Rico

Flickr @Gage Skidmore

It's been three weeks since Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico, devastating the country's land and people, while leaving them without access to basic necessities like food and clean water. President Trump and the federal response to the devastating events on the island have been heavily criticized for their insensitiveness and lack of urgency. 

MORE: Trump Visits Puerto Rico And Compares Death Toll To Katrina 

In customary fashion, President Trump took to Twitter to share his latest thoughts on the suffering island, which suggested a future stop on aid... 

 

 

 

 

The tweets followed a House debate on a $36.5 billion aid package to help victims of hurricanes and wildfires. The majority was in favor with a sweeping 353-69 vote, all of the 69 "no" votes were from Republicans. This aid package also includes $4.9 billion, which will fund a loan program to help Puerto Rican recovery efforts.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time Trump has been criticized for his comments. He was already under heavy pressure after tweeting about NFL protests during the hurricane, and for his visit with Vice President Mike Pence to the ravaged island where he threw paper towels into a crowd of Puerto Ricans and downplayed the severity of the situation by comparing Hurricane Maria to Hurricane Katrina. 

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, has been very vocal of her disappointment in the Trump administration and about her main focus being saving the lives of the Puerto Rican people. Yesterday the mayor retweeted Senator Elizabeth Warren, who also been very outspoken on her support for Puerto Rico during this tragic time. 

 

This morning President Trump seemed to have a change of heart tweeting; "The wonderful people of Puerto Rico, with their unmatched spirit, know how bad things were before the H's. I will always be with them!" A tweet signifying a completely different, contradictory tone than his previous statements. 

However, according to Refinery 29, Lt. Gen. Kenneth F.McKenzie Jr. told reporters at the Pentagon that "'there's still plenty of work to be done' by the military troops in Puerto Rico. He said there was no current plan to withdraw troops who are supporting FEMA's recovery efforts." Mckenzie Jr. also ensured that it will be "up to FEMA and other civilian agencies to decide when the military is no longer needed there."  

RELATED: San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Embraces Trump's 'Nasty Woman' Jab In The Most Badass Way

On Wednesday, CNN reported that the death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria has risen to 45. The country is running on low medicine, food, fuel and power shortages. More deaths are expected due to rising illness from contaminated drinking water and lack of sufficient medical care.