Howard Dean: 'Turn Over Rehab Of Puerto Rico To Clinton Foundation'

Efforts to help Puerto Rico recover from two recent hurricanes might be more successful if the Clinton Foundation was in charge, according to Howard Dean.

The former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee chairman, addressing President Trump, tweeted: “What we should do is turn over the rehab of Puerto Rico to the Clinton Foundation. They know what they are doing. You have no clue.” Newsmax noted that during the 2016 campaign, Trump frequently criticized the foundation and Hillary Clinton’s fundraising efforts on its behalf. He accused her of having made “pay-for-play” arrangements with the charity’s donors while she was secretary of state.

Dean was responding to the president’s threat to pull the Federal Emergency Management Agency out of Puerto Rico. Trump tweeted: “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” He claimed that the U.S. territory’s economic woes are “largely of their own making,” and that its infrastructure was already a “disaster” before the storms.

Most of the island still lacks electricity, and more than a third of its 3.4 million residents do not have potable water. Some have been drinking toxic water at Superfund sites, the Environmental Protection Agency reported Wednesday. Healthcare, fuel and other essential services also are not available to many people. The latest estimate of deaths is 45, though 113 others are missing.

CNN reported that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly defended the president’s remarks, calling them “exactly accurate” because emergency personnel “are not going to be there forever.” He added: “The minute you go anywhere as a first responder, and this would apply certainly to the military, you will try really hard to work yourself out of a job. There will be a period in which we hope, sooner rather than later, the U.S. military and FEMA, generally speaking, can withdraw because then the government and people of Puerto Rico are recovering sufficiently to start the process of rebuilding.”

There is “no hard deadline” for withdrawing from the island, according to a FEMA official who said on CNN that “it all will be determined by the conditions on the ground.” He explained that when the situation is “stabilized,” the agency will “pull back resources as appropriate,” which is the “natural progression of a response to a disaster.” The plan is to “move from the response phase to recovery,” according to the official.

Ben Carson, secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Department, testified to the House Financial Services Committee that the administration has “no intention” of calling off emergency aid to Puerto Rico. “They’re a very important part of who we are,” he said. “They should not be abandoned.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters: “Our job in any disaster affected location is to help the community respond and recover from that disaster. We continue to do so with the full force of the U.S. government. … Successful recoveries do not last forever. They should be as swift as possible to help people resume their normal lives.”

Source: Newsmax
Photo: YouTube, Twitter

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