Nearly four weeks after hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump’s team has only managed to get 13.6 percent of the power back for the island’s 3.5 million U.S. citizens.
We’ve updated this Reuters chart to show just what a disaster the grid rebuild is, especially compared to other hurricanes:
“Misery in Puerto Rico: No power, no job, ‘enormous’ lines,” is how CNN Money described the situation Monday morning.
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough slammed Trump’s half-hearted effort to rebuild Puerto: “This is a national disgrace, and this is a national shame.”
Scarborough, who quit the Republican Party in July, added that “if this were happening” in a place Trump was “interested in,” like Texas or Alabama or Georgia, then “oh, my god, we would have an operation going on there that would make D-Day look like a spring picnic.”
From the perspective of getting their power back, Puerto Ricans are roughly in the same position they were 10 days ago. On Friday, NOAA tweeted out satellite images of what Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands looked like at night from space on September 25th (left image), before Hurricane Maria hit and on Friday (right image), more than three weeks after it made landfall.
The good news is that “Tesla Powerwall battery packs were spotted at San Juan airport on the island over the weekend,” Newsweek reported Monday morning. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has offered to rebuild the island’s grid the clean, modern, cheap, and resilient way — with solar power and batteries.
As a result of the intervention by Musk (and others), Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló is now much more optimistic that the grid can be rebuilt quickly, saying he now hope 95 percent of power can be restored by mid-December.
The bad news is that, as Scarborough said, not only is the president “not focused on or interested in” Puerto Rico, “he actually is insulting them and threatening to take away support.”
…We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2017
And that’s both disgraceful and unforgivable.