Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an interview that she is not sure if President Trump actually knows that Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States.
While discussing Trump’s recent attacks on NFL players protesting police violence and social inequality during the national anthem, Clinton remarked that the president needs to spend less time worrying about football players, and more time focused on Puerto Rico and its recovery from Hurricane Maria.
“At the same time that he was doing all of that, we had American citizens in Puerto Rico who are in a desperate condition. He has not said one word about them, about other American citizens in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I’m not sure he knows that Puerto Ricans are American citizens.”
Clinton’s comments come as most of Puerto Rico is still without power, and is running dangerously low on supplies for basic survival of its residents.
In response to the ongoing crisis in the U.S. territory, the Trump White House sent officials to assess the damage, but has yet to begin sending much needed supplies. In addition, President Trump has refused to lift the Jones Act, which significantly restricts the ability of foreign or foreign-owned ships from bringing goods to Puerto Rico.
The island’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, is pleading for additional help and resources, and is hoping that Congress can pass an aid package despite Trump’s seeming lack of concern for the people of Puerto Rico.
In an interview on Tuesday, Rosselló made the needs of his people clear:
“We need more help. We need more help with resources. We need more help with people being deployed so that we can get logistical support elsewhere.”
Emergence management experts predict that it will take months for power to be restored to the island, whose hospitals and essential services are currently struggling to provide basic emergency services to its people.