In Puerto Rico, more than 90 percent of the island still does not have electricity from the power grid, and half the island does not have drinking water, now more than two weeks after Hurricane Maria. On Wednesday, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, contradicted President Trump’s comments about wiping out Puerto Rico’s billions-dollar debt amid the catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Mick Mulvaney: “Dealing with the challenges that Puerto Rico had—the island is at least $72 billion in debt, $120 [billion] if you go by other counts, before the storm. We are going to focus our attention right now on rebuilding the island, repairing the island, making sure everybody is safe and that we get through this difficult times. We are not going to deal right now with those fundamental difficulties that Puerto Rico had before the storm. By the way—and that not—many folks have not talked about this yet—a lot of those issues are already dealt with through previous legislation called PROMESA.”
Mulvaney was walking back comments Trump made on Tuesday, when Trump told Geraldo Rivera of Fox News that he would move to eliminate the island’s debt. Meanwhile, federal officials are now concerned that the damage from Hurricane Maria will lead to nationwide shortages of critical medicine and other supplies, since Puerto Rico is one of the world’s biggest centers of pharmaceutical manufacturing. We’ll have more on Puerto Rico with Congressmember Nydia Velázquez of New York, who is originally from Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, where Hurricane Maria made landfall just over two weeks ago.