The head of the National Guard said on Tuesday that federal help for Puerto Rico was never delayed, even though President Donald Trump has received heavy criticism for the administration’s apparent lackluster response to the hurricane-wracked island.
According to The Hill, Gen. Joseph Lengyel stated that he did not see any politics from the White House injected into the decision making that would postpone or prohibit relief to Puerto Rico.
When asked if he saw any delay of aid sent to the island, Lengyel responded, “I wouldn’t say I’ve seen any of that.”
“The process that we’ve seen as responders with [Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long], the White House, all of it has been exactly the same from Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria,” he said.
FEMA Administrator Brock Long agreed with this sentiment on CNN Saturday and said that the Mayor of San Juan has refused to connect the FEMA command center set up on the territory to give aid to those on the island. (RELATED: FEMA Chief Defends Trump Tweets, Dings San Juan Mayor [VIDEO])
However, Democratic lawmakers accused the administration of responding too slowly to the catastrophe.
“A more robust federal response is required. I’m glad that the Navy ship Comfort, the hospital ship is on its way to Puerto Rico. It should have been there and to the Virgin Islands. It should have been sent the day after the hurricane hit,” Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer said last Thursday.
Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rosselló commended the response of the Trump administration last week, saying on CNN, “We need to do a lot more in order for us to get out of the emergency,” He added, “But the other thing that’s also true is that the administration has answered and has complied with our petitions in an expedited manner.”
However, San Juan Mayor Carmen Cruz slammed Trump for not doing enough stating at a press conference Friday, “We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy.”
“This is what we got last night: four pallets of water, three pallets of meals and 12 pallets of infant food — which I gave them to the people of Comerio, where people are drinking off a creek,” she added. “So, I am done being polite. I am done being politically correct. I am mad as hell.”