U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said political bickering does not help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Irma.
Politicians are just wasting their time and energy squabbling about who is doing right or wrong. He made the statement during an interview with John Dickerson on the CBS program, “Face the Nation.”
On Sunday, Dickerson asked Rubio about his thoughts on President Donald Trump’s criticisms of the mayor of San Juan. The senator responded that he does not spend much time thinking about it. His “desire is to be a voice and a force for positive results” and helping people.”
Rubio says political bickering wastes time
According to him, “Every minute we spend in the political realm bickering…is a minute of energy and time that we’re not spending trying to get the response right.”
In the future, they “have plenty of time to debate on who didn’t do the right thing or what could have been done better,” said Rubio.
Additionally, he said, “Right now, I hope we’ll stay 100% focused on what needs to be done” for Puerto Ricans. He warned that “bad things are going happen in Puerto Rico if we don’t” get ahead of the curve there.”
Rubio expresses concerns
Currently, the U.S. territory is suffering a humanitarian crisis. The hurricane knocked out 80% of its power transmission lines. Food, water, and fuel are scarce.
According to Rubio, tremendous aid is already coming into Puerto Rico but the distribution to people seems slow. He said, San Juan receives all aid and then distributes it to other municipalities.
The senator noticed that the distribution system is run by victims of the hurricane themselves. They don’t have enough employees to deliver the aid to the people. The senator said the Department of Defense should be responsible for the distribution. He is hoping for that to happen.
During the interview, Rubio also expressed concern about the situation and needs of hospitals in the U.S. territory. He wants to make sure that hospitals have enough medical personnel and fuel to run generators.
“I know that FEMA… emergency responders are aware of this and are trying to address it at the front end. But that’s something to keep an eye on,” said Rubio.
Trump says federal government is doing a great job in Puerto Rico
On Saturday, Trump defended his administration’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. He said the federal government has “done great job with the almost impossible situation” in the hurricane-ravaged island.” The President added that people are now recognizing the amazing work of the FEMA and the military in the island. He noted that “10,000 federal workers are now the island doing a fantastic job.
Trump criticized San Juan Mayor Carmen Yullin Cruz for her “poor leadership.” According to him, the mayor and others in the island “want everything done for them.”
However, the President described Puerto Rico Governor Ricard Rosello as a “great guy.” He noted that the governor is really working hard.