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Responding to Puerto Rico’s Disaster is Uniquely Complex. But Trump is Still Falling Short (The Washington Post)

September 29, 2017

From the op-ed:

A week on from Hurricane Maria’s landfall, Puerto Rico remains objectively devastated. Amid growing criticism, President Trump and acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke have forcefully defended the administration’s response, arguing the crisis conditions reflect unique challenges in Puerto Rico. Duke on Thursday proclaimed herself “very satisfied” with the response so far, calling it “a good news story.”

And yet nearly all of the island remains without power, almost half the population lacks safe drinking water, hospitals are struggling to keep the lights on and fuel shortages are making it hard to deliver aid to those who need it.

Is this the Trump administration’s “Brownie” moment? Or is the White House just getting a bad rap?

As the head of foreign disaster assistance during the Obama administration, I managed the responses to numerous large-scale disasters. It is true that the White House is facing legitimate hurdles, but its response could have been far better managed. Here are three factors important in assessing the quality of the response so far...

Read full op-ed here.

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