Trump administration waives shipping law to allow more deliveries to Puerto Rico

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San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz slammed the USA government's response to Hurricane Maria, which ravaged Puerto Rico on September 20., in an emotional plea for help.

The governor had just come back from visiting the island nation a day before. Puerto Rico faces a daunting recovery process that will take years, not days.

While attention is focused on the humanitarian crisis affecting millions in Puerto Rico, 40 miles to the west, the Virgin Islands remain mostly out of mind.

Frustated, she said: "Dammit, this is not a good news story".

'The electrical grid and other infrastructure were already in very, very poor shape.

Earlier he tweeted: "The fact is that Puerto Rico has been destroyed by two hurricanes".

Elaine Duke made the comments upon landing in San Juan.

This announcement comes after the Trump administration faced some backlash for the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) [official website] statement on Monday that the law would not be suspended.

Seven lawmakers led by Rep. Nydia Velazquez of NY had urged Trump to waive the restrictions for a year in order to speed delivery of critically needed supplies to devastated Puerto Rico's 3.4 million residents.

President Trump promoted "Made in the USA" products on September 29 and said that his tax plan includes a "giant, beautiful, massive, the biggest ever in our country tax cut".

"Clearly, the situation here in Puerto Rico after the devastating hurricane is not satisfactory, but together we are getting there and the progress today is very strong", Duke said.

On Wednesday, the USA military swung into action, stepping up an air bridge to the island and assigning a brigadier general to coordinate the relief effort. It produces 150 gallons per hour but for thousands of people, the solution is simply to leave.

Women hug as people line up to board a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that will take them to the USA mainland, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 28, 2017. She's anxious about their health and safety at home. Clearing roads is one issue. They are working so hard.

"I know that my island is gonna rise", she says. "I need FEMA", said the mayor who is helping to personally hand out meals.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told CNN on Thursday that the federal government is responding to Maria with the same urgency as Harvey and Irma, but there are bigger logistical challenges in Puerto Rico.

FEMA officials said they have handed out nearly one million meals so far, but thousands of packages haven't been delivered yet, stuck on the island's largest port, because of a lack of drivers and vehicle fuel.

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