President Trump criticized for response to Puerto Rico devastation

By White House FOXBusiness

Rebuilding tourism industry after storms hit Caribbean islands

Spin Magazine founder Bob Guccione Jr. discusses whether the federal government has done enough to support a hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

A week after back-to-back hurricanes ravaged Puerto Rico, the island continues to lack power, food and clean drinking water, leaving many to wonder: What is the Trump administration doing to help the nearly 3.5 million Americans stranded on the island?

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“Puerto Rico was so badly hit,” Bob Guccione Jr., founder of travel site wonderlusttravel.com, told FOX Business’ Kennedy on ‘Kennedy.’ “And that’s American citizens, you know. We have to first care about Puerto Rico, and the president’s response has been woeful.”

The Trump administration has already been criticized for not acting as swiftly to help Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth, as it did Florida and Texas after devastating storms swept through those Republican-controlled states. Trump derided Puerto Rico for some of its economic issues, comparing it to the two states in a series of tweets Monday.

“Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble,” he wrote. President Trump followed up, adding that “food, water and medical are top priorities - and doing well. #FEMA.”

Members of Congress are now voicing support for a temporary waiver of the Jones Act, which would lift restrictions on ships that can provide supplies and oil to Puerto Rico. On Tuesday, Trump denied a request and said it would not help the island’s damaged ports. Big companies -- including Google (GOOGL), Verizon (VZ) and Bacardi -- have stepped up in response, announcing millions of dollars in aid to the relief efforts.

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Recovery efforts in Puerto Rico may also depend on its tourism industry, which could be in peril since its infrastructure sustained heavy damages in the hurricane. Most likely, Guccione said, the federal government will need to supply the island with funds to repair it.

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“I do hope tourists still go,” he said, adding that, “We have to help.” 

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