Tags: Trump Administration | rubio | military | puerto rico | maria | hurricane

Rubio: US Military Should Be Put in Charge of Puerto Rico

Image: Rubio: US Military Should Be Put in Charge of Puerto Rico
(AP)

By    |   Friday, 29 September 2017 01:37 PM

Sen. Marco Rubio on Friday said the U.S. military should be temporarily put in charge of the entire relief effort in Puerto Rico, simply because it's the only entity that can overcome the logistical nightmare wrought by Hurricane Maria.

Rubio's plea on CNN echoed that of Sen. Richard Blumenthal on the floor of the Senate on Thursday.

"The logistics chain is broken and only the U.S. military can stand it up," Rubio said on CNN. "And it's truly my hope that at some point … the generals that are down there now … will be able to be the ultimate decision-maker until we get basic logistics. I'm not talking about a military takeover. I'm talking about logistics."

Rubio, who visited the storm-ravaged island this week, cited the fact that aid is everywhere, sitting at ports, but that it can't be distributed because of the lack of power and communications and because roads are not passable.

"They have got to get that aid moving to the right places. To do that you need to restore roads, a bare minimum of power, a bare minimum of communications," Rubio said. "You need a logistical chain."

President Donald Trump sent Lt. General Jeffrey Buchanan to Puerto Rico to work with FEMA on relief efforts, but Rubio is calling for someone to be in charge while the government of Puerto Rico itself can recover.

"This is not an issue that people don't care. It's not an issue that we're not doing enough because this storm was responded to in the way we respond to storms," Rubio said, saying that local and state governments are the first line of defense in the aftermath of storms like Hurricane Maria.

"That model isn't working here and the reason why it doesn't work here is … because the government itself has become a victim of the hurricane," Rubio said. "They've identified that problem and moved on it, I just think they need to do more of that.

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Sen. Marco Rubio on Friday said the U.S. military should be temporarily put in charge of the entire relief effort in Puerto Rico, simply because it's the only entity that can overcome the logistical nightmare wrought by Hurricane Maria.
rubio, military, puerto rico, maria, hurricane
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2017-37-29
Friday, 29 September 2017 01:37 PM
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