We'll Stay in Puerto Rico Until 'All Needs Are Met — US Military

Trevor Jackson
October 3, 2017

In Puerto Rico, enhanced communications and completed assessments are providing a clearer picture of the extent of the storm damage and the magnitude of the response challenge Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, Department of Defense spokesman, said Wednesday.

Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan and John Rabin of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Friday that agencies are working together to assist the people of Puerto Rico.

"It's not because they don't want to do more, and it's not because the White House doesn't want to do more", Rubio said.

Puerto Rico is now suffering food shortages and is at risk of disease outbreak, and both local and federal officials are pressuring the Trump administration to dramatically ramp up its efforts. There is aid sitting at the port.

Rubio's plea on CNN echoed that of Sen.

"Only the DOD, in my view, has the capacity to take charge of that", the Florida Republican said in an interview on CNN's "Inside Politics".

In one sign of the prevailing sense of desperation, thousands lined up at San Juan harbor on Thursday to board a cruise ship bound for Florida in what was believed to be the largest mass evacuation since Maria struck the island. "To do that you need to restore roads, a bare minimum of power, a bare minimum of communications", Rubio said.

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"The logistical chain in Puerto Rico isn't just broken, at this point it is virtually non-existent", Rubio said.

Buchanan will assume responsibility of the USA military's growing role with relief efforts as the Pentagon has already deployed a wide variety of assets to the region.

Puerto Rican officials asked for additional medical assistance from the ship after initially indicating that they wanted to focus on getting power restored to damaged hospitals on shore, USA officials told CNN.

However, he argued the model under which the administration was operating was tailored toward other hurricanes, while Puerto Rico was dealing with the fallout from multiple storms that had covered the totality of the island where millions of United States citizens reside and continue to struggle.

Speaking on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford said the priority is making sure airfields can operate. While that measure might help speed cargo shipments, Puerto Rico is struggling to move supplies around the island once they arrive.

Rubio said that the only solution would be to temporarily put the military in charge of the logistical response, and said he has urged President Donald Trump to make that decision.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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