What in the world is going on in Puerto Rico? Unfortunately, there’s disinformation from both sides of the political spectrum trying to politicize the tragedy — though the Left has dominated the narrative.
On the Left, we’re being told that the response has been both delayed, and underwhelming in terms of the aid provided. Those playing the race card are arguing that Trump paid more attention to the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas than those in Puerto Rico because of racism, though these know-nothings are apparently unaware that half of Texas’ population is Latino or Hispanic.
And regardless, the premise that Puerto Rico hasn’t been getting any help (or at least not much help) is completely bogus:
The aid is getting to Puerto Rico – so what’s the deal?
There’s been a fake story circulating the right-wing blogosphere that the Teamsters Union is on strike in Puerto Rico, hence why aid isn’t being disbursed. But given that the Teamsters are currently recruiting volunteers to assist with transporting supplies in Puerto Rico, obviously that’s not the case.
While there’s no strike occurring, it is true that 80 percent of truck drivers aren’t showing up for work to distribute supplies (perhaps that’s the truth from which the story originated?).
Don’t blame them however; blame Puerto Rico’s infrastructure.
According to Colonel Michael A. Valle, “The aid is getting to Puerto Rico. The problem is distribution. The federal government has sent us a lot of help; moving those supplies, in particular, fuel, is the issue right now,” says Col. Valle. Until power can be restored, generators are critical for hospitals and shelter facilities and more. But, and it’s a big but, they can’t get the fuel to run the generators.”
“It’s a lack of drivers for the transport trucks, the 18 wheelers. Supplies we have. Trucks we have. There are ships full of supplies, backed up in the ports, waiting to have a vehicle to unload into. However, only 20 percent of the truck drivers show up to work. These are private citizens in Puerto Rico, paid by companies that are contracted by the government,” he continued. “There should be zero blame on the drivers. They can’t get to work, the infrastructure is destroyed, they can’t get fuel themselves, and they can’t call us for help because there’s no communication. The will of the people of Puerto Rico is off the charts. The truck drivers have families to take care of, many of them have no food or water. They have to take care of their family’s needs before they go off to work, and once they do go, they can’t call home.”
It’s a tough dilemma – citizens need fuel and supplies to be brought to them, but the truck drivers who can do that need fuel and roads they can actually drive on. It’s a problem of circumstance, not President Trump, and not striking unions.