White House's slow response to aid Puerto Rico a disgrace


US -flagged ships have moved massive amounts of water, food, generators and other donated goods to the island, Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert pointed out during a White House briefing Thursday.

"Out of gas, out of diesel, roofs off homes, no water, no electricity, so I am anticipating there will be a lot of people coming to cities around America", Walsh said. MORE: Stars lend personal jets for Puerto Rico hurricane reliefThe first leg of their flight takes them to Miami.

Trump administration officials say with most power lines and cell towers down, the lack of electricity and communication has made coordinating help particularly hard.

The USNS Comfort, a 1,000-bed hospital ship based in Virginia, is expected to depart Friday for Puerto Rico to shore up its storm-hit hospitals. "We are there for them", Conway said.

"Ultimately the government of Puerto Rico will have to work with us to determine how this massive rebuilding effort ... will be funded", he said. What can I do to help them? Up in the mountains, people wait "in line for non-potable water that had been sitting stagnant in municipal tanks for days", NPR's Camila Domonoske, who's reporting from Puerto Rico, told the NewsHour.

Scenes of a devastated Puerto Rico are continuing to pour in as the island seeks assistance in recovering from Hurricane Maria, which made landfall September 20.

He said United States officials had focused more on making a good impression on members of the media gathered at the capital San Juan's convention centre than bringing aid to rural Puerto Rico.

People fill containers with water at an area hit by Hurricane Maria in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, on September 26, 2017.

The Virgin Islands' 103,000 residents had been receiving vital help and shipments from Puerto Rico - until Hurricane Maria ravaged that territory.

The effort will be the state's largest such undertaking since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Christie said at a news conference in Trenton.

Trump's latest tweets came a day after two senior administration officials briefed reporters at the White House on progress being made.

He said Friday the rebuilding effort would be "one of the biggest effort" but but said the Puerto Rican government will have to "work with us" to figure out how to pay for it in light of prior obligations.

The Trump administration had said earlier this week that there was no need to waive the Jones Act to Puerto Rico, because it would do nothing to address the island's main impediment to shipping, damaged ports.

Many people need money, Ruiz said, but there's no easy way to get cash to them.

Meanwhile, The Hill reports that people who the US government evacuates from Puerto Rico, Dominica and other countries in the region must sign promissory notes saying that they will repay the cost of their transportation. The house in Vega Alta, near San Juan, where his family stays for visits is completely destroyed. That order included Puerto Rico but expired last week, shortly after Maria struck.