The Trump administration’s naked exploitation of the devastation wrought on the island of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria was exposed in bewildering fashion when it was revealed that a Trump administration contractor was awarded $156 million to provide 30 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico – and only came through with 50,000 meals.
Tiffany Brown, the sole employee of Tribute Contracting LLC, was somehow given an enormous FEMA contract to provide meals for the hungry people of Puerto Rico – many of whom still lack electricity and running water, months after the disaster – despite having failed to come through on a shocking five previous contracts for the government.
The FEMA officer in charge of the contract said the operation was “a logistical nightmare,” which begs the question of why the hell was this contract awarded in the first place to a tiny company with no experience in disaster relief and which the Government Publishing Office had already banned from receiving contracts over $35,000 due to their track record of incompetence.
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This is just the latest outrage in a lengthy list of shady ways in which the Trump administration has attempted to turn the Puerto Rico crisis into a money-making venture for Trump-friendly businesses – for instance, consider the $300 million contract to repair Puerto Rico’s electricity grid that was given to Whitefish Energy, a tiny two-person company from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s hometown in Montana and was later cancelled after public outcry.
The Trump team has also succeeded in forcing the island to privatize its school system and turn public schools into charter schools – which was an absolute disaster when conservatives did the same thing in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
It is beyond infuriating to see the Trump administration and their cronies on Wall Street use the suffering of the Puerto Rican people as an excuse to dispense favors and make a quick buck.