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Trump Withdraws Naval Hospital Ship From Puerto Rico During Intense Time Of Need, With NO WARNING

Most of the help President Trump sent to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island he only agreed to after severe criticism. He didn’t even send the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort until Hillary Clinton guilt-tripped him into doing so. That vessel has 1,000 beds and is equipped for trauma care. Between October 3rd and November 7th, when it had to restock, the USNS Comfort helped nearly 5,000 people in Puerto Rico.

But inexplicably, the USNS Comfort was directed to leave Puerto Rico this week—even though the island doesn’t have the resources nor the infrastructure to help the medical needs of the citizens.

This decision, which will likely lead to more deaths, is just one month after Trump allowed the Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico to expire. The waiver, which Trump hesitated to grant, halted a law restricting cargo delivery from foreign vessels. This helped hundreds of shipping containers filled with food and medicine to get to Puerto Rico.

Now Puerto Ricans are faced with high prices for food and essentials. And without the USNS Comfort, they have nowhere to go for help. As Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez told Shareblue Media:

While I appreciate greatly the service of women and men aboard the Comfort, with half the Island still without electricity, I can’t understand why the Comfort would depart. I continue to believe this asset could have been used more appropriately had the Trump Administration been better prepared for Maria and deployed this vessel and personnel earlier. In any event, Puerto Rico needs all the help it can get and withdrawing this vessel now seems premature.

Trump’s disdain for anyone of Hispanic descent isn’t limited to foreign countries. He might be building a wall to keep out Mexicans (despite that it won’t work at all), but for the American citizens in Puerto Rico, he would rather watch them suffer and die.

Cyrus Massoumi
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