Puerto Rico governor says Trump refuses to meet to discuss hurricane relief
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz have been highly critical of President Donald Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in September 2017. And Rossello, on Friday, said that Trump is refusing to meet privately with him to discuss hurricane relief.
The Associated Press has reported that Rossello hoped to meet with Trump privately before a conference of governors that will be held this weekend in Washington, D.C. The governor’s staff, according to AP, has been in regular contact with federal officials in Washington, D.C., but Rossello’s requests for a private meeting with Trump have so far been declined by the White House.
Hurricane Maria inflicted widespread damage on Puerto Rico, destroying the island’s power grid and leaving millions of Puerto Ricans without electricity. In August 2018, however, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority reported that power had been restored to all of its customers.
In December 2018, the Puerto Rico Planning Board reported that Hurricane Maria had caused Puerto Rico's economy to suffer a $43 billion loss, which was a $1 billion increase from a previous estimate.
Trump has repeatedly tried to downplay the severity of Hurricane Maria. He baselessly attacked a study that found that the storm had led to an estimated 2,975 deaths on the island.