President Trump horrified the nation this morning when he publicly denied the fact that nearly 3,000 lost their lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and the Trump administration’s botched recovery efforts.
His words were a knife in the heart of the thousands of people who needlessly lost loved ones to preventable causes due to administrative incompetence and flagrant neglect. One of those mourning their lost relatives today was Democratic rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who took to Twitter to offer Trump and the world some needed advice on what to do with America’s southern island colony.
My own grandfather died in the aftermath of the storm. Uncounted.
Thousands of Puerto Ricans have similar stories. They have lost children, friends, & family members.
Instead of finger-pointing, INVEST in the Marshall Plan for Puerto Rico + just transition to renewable energy. https://t.co/ncukYyJsRu
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) September 13, 2018
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In the year since Hurricane Maria devastated the island, little progress has been made to restore the island to its former glory. It took nearly 11 months for the island to restore electrical power to the island, an undertaken sabotaged from the outset by the Trump administration’s insatiable urge for grift.
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 canceled after an enormous outcry and forced the resignation of Puerto Rican Power Authority chief Ricardo Ramos. Three more PRPA heads would be hired and fired in the next few months, one lasting just a day, before finding someone capable of doing the job properly.
The next set of contracts, worth $1.4 billion to completely revamp the power grid, were given to three major U.S. corporations. But major problems with the contracts were discovered almost immediately and the reconstruction efforts delayed again to reassess the “costs” of the contractors, which had skyrocketed to $4,000 per worker a day.
While power has been restored, most of the repairs are only temporary, with some power lines even bolted to trees, utterly incapable of handling a serious weather event like a hurricane or major tropical storm.
Ocasio-Cortez is absolutely right. Puerto Rico needs serious investment and a transition to renewable energy, not the petty complaints of a would-be despot who is too cowardly to face the consequences of his disastrous governance.