Sen. Victor Torres joins fellow Florida Democrats slamming Puerto Rico relief efforts as half-hearted and ineffective
State Senator Victor Torres (D-Orlando) on Thursday joined fellow Democratic lawmakers at a press conference at the state capitol, demanding that efforts be beefed up to deliver bottlenecked supplies to fellow Americans suffering in Puerto Rico.
“Americans are dying as we speak,” Senator Torres said. “While fellow Americans have generously rallied to donate relief supplies and money to support recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, the federal government has been too slow to respond to this disaster and there is a total failure of coordinated relief efforts to provide supplies and support to the island.
“There are tons of donated supplies like food, water, medicine and other vital resources that are either sitting in warehouses here on the mainland waiting to be sent to Puerto Rico, or even worse, containers of supplies sitting in the seaports and airports on the island that are not being distributed to people who are in desperate need.”
Senator Torres faulted the lack of coordination between the U.S. Military, working with FEMA and government officials in Puerto Rico in transporting and delivering the relief supplies, and called the preparation and response to the disaster by the federal government “inadequate.”
“It has now been 3 weeks since Maria hit the islands and still 80 percent of Puerto Rico is without power and nearly half of the island has no drinking water or functioning sewer services,” said Sen. Torres, who flew to the island earlier this month on an emergency mission to deliver critical supplies to Ponce, a city that had been thus far ignored.
“Just this morning, the President tweeted that Puerto Ricans cannot expect relief workers to stay there forever. No one expects FEMA to be there indefinitely, but we should all expect and demand them to stay until they complete their job of aiding fellow Americans.”