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Three years later, Puerto Rico still has not received adequate attention or funding from the Trump administration. Photo: Time.com
Three years later, Puerto Rico still has not received adequate attention or funding from the Trump administration. Photo: Time.com

Biden, Latinx leaders in Pennsylvania mark the anniversary of Hurricane Maria

Sept. 20 marked three years since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico.

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With nearly 3,000 deaths, Hurricane Maria was the deadliest U.S. natural disaster in 100 years.

Sunday marked the three-year anniversary of Maria making landfall on the island, and Latinx leaders shared their thoughts on the Trump administration’s continued neglect and disrespect since the tragedy. 

So far, Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts have not come thanks to the government. Nonprofit associates, neighbors, foundations, and those who lost everything have been undertaking the brunt of the efforts.

One thousand days late, the Trump administration announced it would move forward with funding, a clear bid for the Puerto Rican vote as the days before Election Day dwindle. Before his announcement, Puerto Rico had only received a portion of the billions granted by Congress in 2018. 

Pennsylvania leaders had substantial words to say on the issue.

“Donald Trump’s latest round of aid to Puerto Rico is clearly an attempt to distract from the fact that when Puerto Ricans needed his help the most, he turned his back on them. This is nothing more than an attempt to bribe Puerto Ricans ahead of an election in which support from Latino communities will be pivotal,” said Rep. Danilo Burgos (PA-197)  Chair of the Latino Leadership Council.

“The loss of life and trauma that came out of Hurricane Maria and the failed leadership within this administration has left a hole in our community,” said Councilwoman Janet Diaz. 

“I know that Joe Biden will work alongside Puerto Ricans to rebuild their communities from the devastation that has lingered for far too long under the current administration,” Diaz continued.

Mayor Eddie Moran of Reading touched on what Puerto Rico needs moving forwards, saying not only does Puerto Rico need to recover, but more needs to be invested in its future.

“That means building on the Affordable Care Act to deliver quality and affordable healthcare, making investments in school infrastructure, strengthening the power system, and so much more,” Mayor Moran said.

David Rodriguez, Chair of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party Latino Caucus put it in short. “During the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria, we saw exactly the kind of person that Donald Trump is,” he said.

Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden, who historically released a concrete plan for Puerto Rico’s recovery earlier this month, also commemorated the anniversary of Hurricane Maria in a statement.

“Today, after three years of hardship, thousands are still living with blue tarps for their roofs. Children still report nightmares, as the aftermath of the aftermath haunts survivors. And a still-shattered economy has forced so many to leave the island and their families,” he said. 

With Donald Trump at the helm of the nation, the crisis in Puerto Rico will continue to be far from over.

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