Published: Mon, October 09, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Hattie Nash

Hurricane Maria death toll jumps to 34 in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria death toll jumps to 34 in Puerto Rico

"We are not going to deal with the fundamental difficulties Puerto Rico had before the storm".

Despite the selfless efforts of many Americans, President Donald Trump has been less than supportive of the US territory in its time of need, going as far as to say the Puerto Rican crisis is throwing "our budget a little out of whack". Trump received some criticism for telling Puerto Ricans they escaped the higher death toll of "a real catastrophe like Katrina".

Trump will request a package that includes $12.77 in disaster relief and a $16 billion bailout to keep a critical flood insurance program running. "Sixteen people versus in the thousands. You can be very proud of all of your people and all of our people working together".

Two weeks after it was hit by the worst hurricane in 90 years, many of Puerto Rico's 3.4 million residents are still struggling without basic necessities.

He was also lobbed rolls of paper towels into a crowd at a church in what was seen as a odd and insensitive approach to hurricane relief.

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Just last week, Cruz wore a T-shirt that read, "HELP US WE ARE DYING" during an appearance on CNN.

However, Cruz praised the White House staff and said, "I saw a real connection between the reality and the White House staff".

Mexico offered the aid even through its relations with the U.S. have been strained ever since Donald Trump assumed office in January. "And we're going to have to wipe that out", he said.

The number of confirmed fatalities in Puerto Rico for now is 34. "I think that they finally understood".

Trump visited Puerto Rico almost two weeks after Hurricane Maria struck the island, but he visited Texas and Florida much sooner after hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit those two states.

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The president started the rift with Cruz when he told Puerto Rican officials Tuesday that, due to the amount of money the US has spent on relief efforts, the nation has "thrown our budget a little out of whack".

"We've saved a lot of lives", he added.

Critics of Trump first started embracing the "nasty" moniker in 2016, when as the Republican presidential nominee he called Democratic rival Hillary Clinton a "nasty woman" during a presidential debate.

Trump has said Puerto Rico's debt is hindering its ability to recover after the hurricane.

The damage from Hurricane Maria has only worsened the island's fiscal plight, and Congress is expected to step in with financial assistance to help rebuild its infrastructure.

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