To conclude, there were many different factors involved in the recovery efforts for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and it may be that, as members of the public, we are not exposed to the whole truth or important pieces of information that may clear the entire situation and questions thousands of people are asking. Why was Puerto Rico not given the same treatment as Florida or Texas? Why were the U.S Government’s contributions delayed and not put into place immediately? Why is Puerto Rico not being a state being used as an excuse when the island has contributed as much as the 50 states themselves? President Trump released a statement three weeks after the hurricane stating that the recovery was more difficult in Puerto Rico due to its geography, how it is an island and not part of mainland USA. The administrator of FEMA, Brock Long, expressed that the international airport of Puerto Rico located in San Juan was not operating at its full capacity, limiting the ability for resources to be moved into the area. Donald Trump said ‘it is very tough because it is an island’, ‘In Texas, we can ship the trucks right out there, you know, we’ve got A-pluses on Texas and Florida and we will also in Puerto Rico, but the difference is this is an island sitting in the middle of an ocean, and it’s a big ocean’. It is important to analyse these quotes in this situation because even underlying tones within the detail of what he is saying can be revealing. It is noticeable that Trump is very much concentrating on the negative and is quick to make excuses for his actions. This in a way reflects his whole approach to the situation because the majority of the time when interviewed about Puerto Rico in its state of crisis, references to himself and what he was trying to do and that it was never his fault appeared much more regularly than actual sympathy for the civilians of the island and helping to maintain their hope by speaking words of encouragement. This optimistic aspect was not completely absent but in the grand scheme of things, mentioning that side of the topic would’ve have put the US Government concerning this matter in a much more positive light.
The aid provided by the US Government has therefore facilitated Puerto Rico to a certain extent. It seems most reasonable to say that if they were assisting the island enough and to their full potential, the Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló would no longer feel it necessary to plead for help and extra assistance from Washington through the media which is broadcasted across the world. Because of the slow response, the US Government but in particular President Trump himself has been subject to major criticism that he has been purposely oblivious to the unfolding disaster happening before his eyes and should have paid a significant amount of attention more than he has done in the past few months since the hurricane hit. When a disaster of such great magnitude, such as Maria, is subjected to land, immense devastation to millions of people’s lives can occur. Because of this enormity, an hour when put into the perspective of a victim can seem like days upon end. This in my opinion is so unbelievably vital when assessing the success of the Government in this situation, as the more time they left it, the worse the effects of the unprecedented storm became. Consequently, further damage followed in the footsteps of the hurricane due to the lack of immediate assistance for example physical destruction: additional home and community damage, and interference of the mental health of victims with suicide rates soaring compared to usual. In fairness to the US Government, disaster relief has to be understood rationally and although due to advancing technology in the modern world we live in today, some things are still not possible for example providing never-ending aid for a country in need immediately after disaster strikes. This is a miscommunicated concept that is sought after and is desired for an ideal world but in this scenario, it is important to comprehend the immense scale of the disaster and how there will never be enough police, firefighters, medical personnel etc. and how it is near to impossible to locate them where they need to be immediately. But to return to the reality of the situation, in comparison to the disasters of Hurricane Irma and Harvey, President Trump along with his Government did not accomplish what was required to assist the Island of Puerto Rico. Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, tweeted about how there were many ‘boots on the ground’ helping out with the recovery efforts but they were definitely not ‘working at full capacity.’ I think this phrase in particular reflects the efforts made by the US perfectly; actions were evidently taken out in order to help Puerto Rico but the time delay and quantity of aid provided did not meet the island’s requirements when potentially, it had the ability to.