Pres. Trump goes to #PuertoRico

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Pres. Trump goes to #PuertoRico

Here is a tran­script of his remarks.

CNN’s John King Slams Trump Press Con­fer­ence as ‘Love Fest’. Res­i­dent Com­mis­sioner Jen­nifer Gon­za­lez trav­eled to the island on Air Force One with the President.

My FB and Twit­ter feeds lit up over Trump’s remark on the bud­get. Here’s the actual quote (empha­sis added),

Now, I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our bud­get a lit­tle out of whack because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that’s fine. We’ve saved a lot of lives.

Trump also stated that “we’ll have to say good-​bye” to Puerto Rico’s debt

They owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street and we’re going to have to wipe that out,” Trump told Rivera. “You can say good­bye to that.”

Puerto Rico was fac­ing a $74 bil­lion pub­lic debt load prior to Maria and was strug­gling to recover from a decade-​long reces­sion that has caused hun­dreds of thou­sands of res­i­dents to leave for the U.S. mainland.

I expect there will be a lot of dis­cus­sion on the debt restructuring.

Right after the hur­ri­cane I posted that

You can kiss the debt good-​bye.

Puerto Rico has no money.

Most of the island has been destroyed by the elements.

I thought that was pretty obvi­ous, but received sev­eral emails and com­ments at my blog from peo­ple who thought that meant that Puerto Rico should bear no respon­si­bil­ity. To the con­trary, on the same post I clar­i­fied that recon­struc­tion efforts should entail out­side super­vi­sion and full transparency.

Any debt restruc­tur­ing should require strict fed­eral oversight.

Puerto Rico must, in order for any rebuild­ing to work, embrace full trans­parency and account­abil­ity, and end cor­rup­tion. That is a big­ger task than any rebuilding.

Mean­while, help con­tin­ues to arrive: The Mercy-​class Mil­i­tary Sealift Com­mand hos­pi­tal ship USNS Com­fort (T-​AH 20) arrived in Puerto Rico to assist in human­i­tar­ian relief efforts, Oct. 3.

Com­fort is a seago­ing med­ical treat­ment facil­ity that cur­rently has more than 800 per­son­nel embarked for the Puerto Rico mis­sion includ­ing Navy med­ical and sup­port staff assem­bled from 22 com­mands, as well as over 70 civil ser­vice mariners.

The hos­pi­tal ship has one of the largest trauma facil­i­ties in the United States and is equipped with four X-​ray machines, one CAT scan unit, a den­tal suite, an optom­e­try lens lab­o­ra­tory, phys­i­cal ther­apy cen­ter, phar­macy, angiog­ra­phy suite and two oxygen-​producing plants.

Here’s a photo with the offi­cial caption,

[cap­tion id=“attachment_101553” align=“aligncenter” width=“300”] 171003-​F-​EK767-​0002
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Oct. 3, 2017) The Mil­i­tary Sealift Com­mand hos­pi­tal ship USNS Com­fort (T-​AH 20) arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oct. 3, 2017. Com­fort will help sup­port Hur­ri­cane Maria aid and relief oper­a­tions. The Depart­ment of Defense is sup­port­ing the Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency, the lead fed­eral agency, in help­ing those affected by Hur­ri­cane Maria to min­i­mize suf­fer­ing and is one com­po­nent of the over­all whole-​of-​government response effort. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Capt. Christo­pher Merian/Released)[/caption]

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin Amer­ica at Fausta’s blog

Here is a transcript of  his remarks.

CNN’s John King Slams Trump Press Conference as ‘Love Fest’. Resident Commissioner Jennifer Gonzalez traveled to the island on Air Force One with the President.

My FB and Twitter feeds lit up over Trump’s remark on the budget. Here’s the actual quote (emphasis added),

Now, I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that’s fine. We’ve saved a lot of lives.

Trump also stated that “we’ll have to say good-bye” to Puerto Rico’s debt

“They owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street and we’re going to have to wipe that out,” Trump told Rivera. “You can say goodbye to that.”

Puerto Rico was facing a $74 billion public debt load prior to Maria and was struggling to recover from a decade-long recession that has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to leave for the U.S. mainland.

I expect there will be a lot of discussion on the debt restructuring.

Right after the hurricane I posted that

You can kiss the debt good-bye.
. . .
Puerto Rico has no money.

Most of the island has been destroyed by the elements.

I thought that was pretty obvious, but received several emails and comments at my blog from people who thought that meant that Puerto Rico should bear no responsibility. To the contrary, on the same post I clarified that reconstruction efforts should entail outside supervision and full transparency.

Any debt restructuring should require strict federal oversight.

Puerto Rico must, in order for any rebuilding to work, embrace full transparency and accountability, and end corruption. That is a bigger task than any rebuilding.

Meanwhile, help continues to arrive: The Mercy-class Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived in Puerto Rico to assist in humanitarian relief efforts, Oct. 3.

Comfort is a seagoing medical treatment facility that currently has more than 800 personnel embarked for the Puerto Rico mission including Navy medical and support staff assembled from 22 commands, as well as over 70 civil service mariners.

The hospital ship has one of the largest trauma facilities in the United States and is equipped with four X-ray machines, one CAT scan unit, a dental suite, an optometry lens laboratory, physical therapy center, pharmacy, angiography suite and two oxygen-producing plants.

Here’s a photo with the official caption,

171003-F-EK767-0002
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Oct. 3, 2017) The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oct. 3, 2017. Comfort will help support Hurricane Maria aid and relief operations. The Department of Defense is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, in helping those affected by Hurricane Maria to minimize suffering and is one component of the overall whole-of-government response effort. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Capt. Christopher Merian/Released)

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog